Sunday, July 29, 2007

DLee finds power stroke

Throughout the first half, just like many Cub fans, I worried about Derrek Lee's lack of power. Coming off an injury that included 2 broken bones in his wrist, Lee was on the shelf the majority of 2006. There were legit reasons to fear that Lee might be turning into a taller, right handed version of Mark Grace. There has even been talk of the Cubs looking to add some right handed pop, despite having a lineup that had Lee, Fonzie and Aramis Ramirez.

Thankfully in his last 9 games (wrapped around his 5 game suspension) we have started to see Lee take the ball out of the ballpark. Lee has taken the ball out to all fields. He has also started to hit homeruns on the road. Earlier this week in St. Louis he hit his first homerun of the year away from Wrigley Field. Two more homeruns followed this weekend in Cincinnati. Both of the dingers in Cincy were big. The one on Saturday gave the Cubs a first inning lead. Sunday's homerun in the top of the seventh gave Carlos Zambrano valuable insurance as he won his major league leading 14th ballgame.

As the Cubs pursue the 2007 NL Pennant, it is no secret they could use a little more power. Currently the team ranks 12th in homeruns in the NL and 8th in slugging percentage. Deadline deals in baseball have gotten tougher and tougher with the addition of the wildcard. Lee couldn't have found a better time to start hitting the ball out of the ballpark. If DLee has found his power stroke it will only help the Cubs chances through August, September and hopefully deep into October.

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