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Theriot led the Cubs in at-bats last year with 602. He also set career bests in home runs (7) and in RBI (54). But the Cubs don't want him swinging for the fences, even though Piniella said early last season that he'd like Theriot to drive the ball more.
"Hitting first, on-base percentage, obviously," Theriot said. "Hit zero homers, that's great. Be on base. Score runs. Be productive at the top. In the leadoff spot, there's a niche for guys in this game who do that and do it well. Every good team has one of those guys.
"If that's the role that I'm in, then great. I would love to do that. That's something that I'll excel at for sure."
That kind of attitude from both players sounded good to Piniella.
"I can understand that," he said. "We'll see what happens here in the spring with it. We'll use one one day and one the next. We'll see. It depends on how they're swinging the bat. It depends on who the pitcher on the other side is. There will be some variables but, look, we'd like stay constant, too. We'll come up with something.
"I'm glad you said that both of them would like to lead off."
NOTES: A second straight day of rain showers curtailed on-field work Sunday. Both hitters and pitchers did most of their work in covered cages, at Fitch Park and HoHoKam Park. "Yeah, we got as much work as we needed to," Piniella said. "We got some conditioning in, and all the pitchers threw. We kept half the pitchers here and sent the other to HoHoKam Park. The hitters got all the hitting. We really didn't miss much. Tomorrow, we're supposed to get some more rain. We'll see what happens." ... Right-handed reliever Angel Guzman is probably "two weeks behind everybody else," Piniella said Sunday. Guzman is recovering from surgery on his right knee last month. Guzman is expected to be ready to open the regular season on the active roster.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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