Coming into the season, the players we were concerned about were Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, and the middle IF mishmash. Well, so far Soriano and Soto are leading the team in OPS, while Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker look like the makings of a productive-enough platoon. We can be concerned that Fukudome has given up his patience without getting a return in SLG, but it's early. (Check here for a nice summary of the Cubs' hitting.)
What really stands out is Aramis Ramirez' awful cold streak. And, yes, it's early. Yes, as I say over and over again, all hitters have bad months some time. But look more closely at Rami's numbers. His strikeout rate has ballooned to 34%. His line drive rate is way down at 7%. His fly ball rate has jumped to 70%. It seems safe to conclude that while part of this is bad luck (.132 BABIP), another part is a swing that is just off.
So, I want to hear from the eyes on the ground what they're seeing in Rami's swing. Has anyone seen something? Has anyone heard or read something about Rudy tinkering with Rami's swing?
I expect Ramirez will get this worked out. He's too good a hitter for this to continue. And the luck alone will change and help.
And that said, it is early, but this is part of why I'm optimistic about this offense right now. The overall RS line is not good, but when you break the team down into its component parts, I like what I'm seeing from the players that were question marks going into the season.
Soriano will have a cold streak and cool down. But he looks like he's a lot closer to the old Sori than the '09 injured Sori.
Fontenot's AVG will fall, and if he doesn't add some SLG, he won't be as productive as he looks right now. But I think by mid-season, we'll have a SS-2B rotation that will be above average.
Soto's 2009 had a bad BABIP; it looks like he's going to be closer to '08 than '09.
Dome concerns me; he just doesn't fit with Lou. But I think we'll trade him eventually anyway, and Colvin is hanging in there v. MLB pitching.
Yes, it's early. Some of these things will change. But I'm less worried about this offense now than I was in the off-season.