Lou Piniella Is Holding a Spot Open for Kosuke Fukudome

Following Kosuke Fukudome's first season in Chicago was a bit of a roller coaster ride. He seemingly endeared Cubs fans to him forever when he hit a home run on Opening Day and continued tearing pitchers apart through the first two months of the season. Then June came around and Fukudome began struggling mightily as National League pitchers figured him out.

This is when the fans turned on him, as nobody likes having a reserve outfielder with a $48 million contract. So Cubs fans will no doubt be overjoyed when they hear that manager Lou Piniella is holding the centerfield position and the two-spot in the lineup for Fukudome.

"He looks wonderful, in really good shape," Piniella said. "I told him we're holding a spot for him. I'm going to put him out in center field, and I'm going to try him in the No. 2 hole in the lineup.

"It was nice seeing him. He said he has been working hard. He's excited about this World Baseball Classic, and afterward he's looking forward to joining us."

And Steve Phillips says that Lou doesn't know how to handle foreign players.

Now the question is whether or not Piniella meant that he's holding the starting spot for Fukudome once the season starts, or if he meant that when he returns from his World Baseball Classic duties that he's going to give him a shot to earn the job.

I know that Cubs fans are hoping he meant the latter.

Lou Piniella Is Holding a Spot Open for Kosuke Fukudome originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Wed, 11 Mar 2009 12:02:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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