Ramirez back hitting fifth in lineup

Ramirez back hitting fifth in lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Aramis Ramirez was back in the fifth spot in the Cubs' lineup Thursday, one day after being dropped to sixth.

Ramirez switched places with Alfonso Soriano because of his early season struggles. The third baseman is hitting .154. Derrek Lee said after Wednesday's game that it shouldn't matter where you hit. Cubs manager Lou Piniella agreed.

"There's too much made out of it," Piniella said of the lineup positions. "The guys in the front part of the lineup get up one more time than the guys in the back part. That's the big difference. ... Outside of that, once the game starts, it doesn't matter. You're going to lead off some innings, hit second some innings. it doesn't make any difference."

Lee hasn't gotten off to a good start either, and headed into Thursday's game batting .223. If he continues to scuffle, would Piniella move him?

"I know he started off slow last year," Piniella said. "He started off slow this year. I thought from the middle of May last year, he hit as well as anybody in the league. Let's hope that's the case this year."

After hitting .189 in April 2009, Lee batted .313 in May, and finished with a .306 average. May was when Lee got hot as he reached base in 31 straight games from May 16-June 24, 2009.

The first baseman acknowledged he's part of the problem with the Cubs' inconsistent offense.

"I'm not hitting," Lee said. "That isn't helping things."