Lou-Ball or Piniella ball is a specific style of baseball. First it is about winning, nothing else matters and whatever Lou does is be loyal to the team by giving the team the best chance of winning. This means he is not loyal to the individual per se, but loyal to the individual plays within the role that provides the team the best chance of winning.
Last year Soriano was the big deal in the first 45 days, the Cubs tried him in CF and that failed on both fronts, team defense and Soriano's offensive production. There were countless other moments last year but Piniella guided the team into the playoffs where they was a sweep.
Now this year. Rotation, last year Piniella showed his hand last year by losing patience with Marquis down the stretch. For whatever the reason is Marquis's performance didn't measure Piniella's confidence where he was almost left off the playoff roster. Cubs have come to camp with Dempster and Lieber (who also replaced Marshall) and both have showed they are worthy. Marshall was always on the trading block and so is Marquis.
The other item is the front of the order, meaning Soriano and then who are where to do they get a bona fide lead off hitter? DeRosa has moaned his is not appreciated, but Piniella appreciates him to be the super sub, what this team and especially the Cubs need with their screwy schedule of different game times, day games following night games et cetera. DeRosa could start 4 or 5 days a week but in a different defensive position which is not good for the individual but great for the team.
Finally he expects all players, including young players to play the game correctly mentally. This is why I think Soto has immediately gained the confidence of Piniella and why he is considered the starting catcher. Soto also has talent. Finally there is the CF question. Pie must not be mentally all there yet so the Cubs are looking for an experienced MLB option/backup. What is it, I am not certain, it surely is not defense, must be that he and scouts still see a hole in Pie's approach at the plate.
Lastly there is the lineup. I see it as Piniella working it through the first third of the year until Soriano is either batting 3rd or 5th. Fukudome is one who will determine when he has adjusted to the American pitching and then moves up to the 2 spot. Soriano has to relearn how to hit more often with men on base. It is mental but it is also real.
Ultimately what Lou is doing is preparing this team for the playoffs as also winning the division.