Piniella said the hamstring strain was about 3-4 inches. Soriano will have an MRI taken Tuesday but said he doesn't think the injury is too severe and hopes to be back in 5-7 days.
"I don't like to be hurt," he said. "It's sad for me. I like to play every day."
Soriano injured himself in the fifth while trying to get up and make a throw after a failed attempt to make a sliding catch of Clay Hensley's RBI single. Umpire Gary Cederstrom ruled Soriano trapped the ball, and trainer Mark O'Neal rushed out to the field when he saw Soriano grab the back of his leg.
"He strained it when he tried to throw the ball," Piniella said. "Outside of that, it was a really nice night for us."
perfect opportunity to call up 22-year-old centerfielder-of-the-future felix pie, right? well....
Center fielder Felix Pie is hitting .444 at Triple-A Iowa, but general manager Jim Hendry was hesitant to call him up.
"I've never been a believer that you start making decisions after 10-11 games," Hendry said before Soriano was injured. "You play a little while. He's going to be a good player for a long time, and when it's the right time to bring him up, we're certainly going to act on it."
news flash, cruller jim: it's time to start making decisions regardless of what you believe.
this club has already been showing signs that it may not be good enough, both statistical and anecdotal. it may not yet be time to panic, but pie is probably the best defensive outfielder anywhere in the cub system -- and this outfield sorely needs some defensive help. many have speculated that the cubs would be a better team if it simply benched one of its starting corner outfielders in favor of pie. with soriano down, that decision borders on being no decision at all.
there is a possibility that soriano will be placed on the 15-day following his mri, and such a move may very well help pie to the majors in spite of hendry's recalcitrance. the cubs also have angel pagan and buck coats to consider, but it may very well be time to see what pie can do. at 22, he is no spring chicken anymore. this club may have benefitted from his help anyway. if soriano goes to the disabled list, it may not be well suited to do without it.
UPDATE: in a move that would seem to presage soriano's move to the 15-day, the cubs this morning called up felix pie. wscr is reporting that he will start in center tonight.
UPDATE: the trib reports:
"They said it was a minor strain," manager Lou Piniella said. "That's encouraging."
"Thank God it's not a big deal," Soriano said. "It's just a little problem. Maybe one week, or 10 days."
Instead of putting Soriano on the disabled list, the Cubs optioned reliever Angel Guzman to Iowa, leaving them with an 11-man staff for the time being.
wade miller apparently lives to fight through another couple turns. the chart will mark soriano in red because, although he isn't, he probably should be on the disabled list. one wonders in fact what weight was given to public relations in such a decision.
|1||Carlos Zambrano||Ryan Dempster||Scott Eyre*||Michael Barrett||Derrek Lee||Cliff Floyd*|
|2||Ted Lilly*||Bob Howry||Will Ohman*||Henry Blanco||Mark Derosa||Felix Pie*|
|3||Jason Marquis||Michael Wuertz||Neal Cotts*||Geovany Soto||Cesar Izturis**||Jacque Jones*|
|4||Rich Hill*||Angel Guzman||Clay Rapada*||Aramis Ramirez||Matt Murton|
|5||Wade Miller||Rocky Cherry||Ryan Theriot||Daryle Ward*|
|6||Mark Prior||Roberto Novoa||Ronny Cedeno||Alfonso Soriano|
|7||Juan Mateo||Kerry Wood||Scott Moore*||Angel Pagan**|
|8||Sean Marshall*||Brian Dopirak||Buck Coats*|