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Fukudome may move around in lineup

Fukudome may bat leadoff at times

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Lou Piniella has said he'd like to keep the lineup constant. But there may be a small tweak.

Piniella said on Wednesday that he's considering batting Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome in the leadoff spot against left-handed starters rather than hit fifth. Against right-handers, Fukudome would bat fifth.

"I wouldn't mind leading Fukudome off against lefties, to be honest," Piniella said. "I'm not saying we're going to do that -- that's in my mind. I like him there. He makes the pitcher throw a lot of pitches, and it's a good spot for him."

Fukudome has faced quite a few lefties this spring, and does see a lot of pitches in his at-bats. And if he stays in the fifth spot against southpaws, Piniella is worried that teams won't pitch to Aramis Ramirez, who will hit fourth.

"I like to tinker a little bit and try things," Piniella said. "We'll see what we do. We'll play around with our lineup against left-handers here."

He may experiment this weekend in Las Vegas against Seattle lefty Jarrod Washburn, who is scheduled to start Saturday.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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