Results tagged ‘ Nate Schierholtz ’
After a busy offseason, the 2013 Cubs came into camp riding a wave of optimism. The team added depth to the rotation, versatility in the outfield and an extra year of experience for the younger players. On Tuesday, Vine Line sat down with some of the new guys to find out why they wanted to come to Chicago and what goals they have set for the season ahead.
Vine Line will be posting videos and content from Fitch Park and HoHoKam Stadium all week long, so keep an eye on the blog and our Twitter account, @cubsvineline.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
Baseball is finally back. Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training last week, while position players reported this weekend. And Cubs fans everywhere got a little more excited with the realization that the baseball season is almost here.
To get us back into gear, the February issue of Vine Line previewed the squad heading into Mesa, Ariz. We broke the team down into five categories—starting pitching, relief pitching, catchers, infielders and outfielders—to give fans a clearer picture of what to expect when the Cubs break camp and head to Chicago.
Below is a look at the outfield. The February issue is on newsstands now, with single issues available by calling 800-618-8377. Or visit the Vine Line page on Cubs.com to subscribe to the magazine.
While Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus appear to be locks in the outfield, the Cubs may be inclined to move either of them if the right deal comes along this year.
In 2012, Soriano provided value to the Cubs in a multitude of areas. He was surprisingly durable (his 151 games played were the most in his Cubs career) and drove in a career-high 108 runs (though consistently hitting in the clean-up spot for the first time certainly helped). He also slugged 32 home runs and received a few MVP votes, accomplishments he hadn’t achieved since his first season with the club. Soriano markedly improved on defense and emerged as a leader on a team that was sorely lacking in that department after trading veterans at the deadline.
DeJesus provides strong defense in right field and delivers solid on-base skills. The signing of Nate Schierholtz means DeJesus might spend quite a bit of time in center field, where his defensive skills are average at best. But that should increase the value of his bat due to the lower expectations for power that come with moving from a corner outfield spot.
The left-handed Schierholtz provides a strong bat against right-handed pitching and solid defense, including a great arm in right field. It’s likely he will be part of a platoon with new acquisition Scott Hairston. Dave Sappelt is also a rangy outfielder who could rack up some innings in any of the three spots. Elite prospect Brett Jackson, who made his big league debut last season, will start 2013 in Triple-A and continue to refine his swing and work on his contact rate.
The trajectory of the Cubs’ 2013 outfield could be similar to that of the 2012 starting pitching staff, a unit that looked vastly different at the end of the season than it did at the beginning.
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty)
The Cubs improved their outfield depth Friday by agreeing to terms with outfielder Nate Schierholtz on a one-year contract.
Schierholtz, 28, is a career .270 hitter (344-for-1,275) with 75 doubles, 15 triples, 24 home runs and 123 RBI in 540 major league games with the San Francisco Giants (2007-12) and Philadelphia Phillies (2012). The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower has spent the majority of his big league career playing right field (420 games, 261 starts), where he owns a .989 fielding percentage (seven errors in 616 total chances), but he has also seen limited time in center field and left field. In 2010, he ranked fifth in outfield assists and fielding percentage among right fielders.
Schierholtz had spent his entire professional career in the Giants organization before being dealt to the Phillies as part of a four-player trade on July 31, 2012. He combined to hit .257 (62-for-241) with eight doubles, five triples and six home runs in 114 games between the two clubs last season.
Originally selected by San Francisco in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Schierholtz made his major league debut with the Giants in 2007 at the age of 23 and was a big league mainstay by 2009. He was a member of San Francisco’s 2010 World Championship team and followed that season by hitting .278 (93-for-335) and setting career highs with 22 doubles, nine home runs and 41 RBI in 2011.
Other Cubs Notes:
Left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, and right-handed pitcher Sandy Rosario was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants. Left-handed pitcher Gerardo Concepcion cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Single-A Kane County.
Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.