With Carlos Pena in the fold for 2011, with a deferred contract no less, it’s time to look at what I believe is the lineup for opening day and give you my rationale for each position. In return, I ask for your critical comments and snide remarks, along with your lineup and reason behind it.

1. Kosuke Fukudome (RF) – Remember, we’re talking opening day here. Kosuke is Mr. first half and so he should probably be in the lineup on opening day as a result.

2. Geovany Soto (C) – I actually strongly considered him for the leadoff role for the simple fact that he’s learned to take a walk and got on base like it was going out of style at one point early in the year. He doesn’t really have the power for a 3-6 hitter, so why not try him in the # 2 spot?

3. Aramis Ramirez (3B) – This has long been D-Lee’s spot in the lineup, though I think Ramirez was more deserving of it. He’s been a better hitter / run producer than Lee in his time here and I’m excited to see him in this spot, especially if he’s back completely healthy.

4. Carlos Pena (1B) – I hit him here for the sole purpose of the three or four run home run possibility. He’s a huge bat behind Rammy that you don’t want to fool around with. In the event that he draws a walk, it just leaves the table set for Marlon Byrd

5. Marlon Byrd (CF) – He was a great bargain for us last year. He should fit this spot nicely. I could also see him in the two spot.

6. Starlin Castro (SS) – I think Quade will probably put Soriano in this spot, but hear me out on this one. The lower you hit Starlin, the more you waste his speed. With an acute lack of speed in this lineup, it’s key to take advantage of it. I think we’ll see his baserunning get a lot better in 2011 now that he knows he belongs here. He can relax a little and focus on his all around game. In addition, having Soriano behind him actually allows for a little protection for him.

7. Alfonso Soriano (LF) – This won’t stroke the ego of the over-priced slugger, but where else should he be?

8. Blake DeWitt (2B) – This is a weak spot for us. I think I’d actually consider the pitcher in the 8th spot in games that Zambrano starts.

9. Pitcher’s Spot

Name That Ballplayer

As always, what follows below are three clues to consider when guessing the mystery ballplayer. See how many clues it takes before you can correctly guess. Start with clue # 1 and work your way through. Good luck. If you’re interested in more of these, they can be found in the book, Name that Ballplayer by Wayne Stewart

Clue # 1 – This third baseman (he also played some first base), who attended Arizona State University, is one of a handful of men to swat four home runs in a single game

Clue # 2 – His final season, 1988, was spent with the Cardinals, but the rest of his career found him in an Atlanta Braves uniform.

Clue # 3 – In 1978 he won the Rookie of the Year Award

Answer – Click Here

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail