When Nate Schierholtz signed with the Cubs, he was coming off of two pretty identical seasons:
That was good enough to garner a 1-year, 2.25 million dollar contract. In 2012, he was strictly used as the dominant half of a platoon and it showed: Nate had an .826 OPS against righties but a putrid .444 against lefthanders. It's important to note that he only received 269 PA, though. His split in 2011 was similarly severe: he hit .801 against righthanders and .562 against southpaws (again, OPS). What's interesting about that harsh split is that it's a recent development, though. His career numbers are .739/.703, so the past two years have basically made the entirety of the difference.
When the Cubs signed him, they made sure to go out and get someone to hit lefties to platoon with him (Scott Hairston). This season, the goal with Nate is clear: start him against righties whenever possible, and spin him into long-term assets at the trade deadline (The Giants traded Schierholtz + at the deadline for Hunter Pence last year). We'll see whether or not that ends up happening, but the plan itself is sound.
As noted, Schierholtz has a harsh platoon in recent years. The last time he hit a HR of a lefthander was in 2009 (when he actually had a reverse platoon split). Generally speaking, though, Schierholtz is going to provide a .260/.320/.420 line from RF. That's the equivalent, funny enough, of a Hunter Pence or Will Venable. These aren't guys we would consider all-stars at RF, or even average; I'd agree with that consensus. Schierholtz, even when platooned correctly, just isn't an offensive force. His career ISO is .141; David DeJesus' last year was .140. He doesn't draw a considerable amount of walks; his 6.2% mark is firmly well below the MLB average of 8.5%.
Schierholtz makes contact at a rate higher than the average MLB player, but he also swings more often. This would normally have the unfortunate effect of abbreviating his P/PA; however, he fouls off a much greater percentage of balls than the average player (32% to 27%). This helps drive up P/PA: his last 3 full seasons have had marks of 3.87, 3.97, and 4.00, all higher than the MLB average of 3.81. Nate has a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone, but also swings at pitches inside the zone with a pretty great frequency (the average is around 62%; his average is around 70%). All of these things point to a guy who is likely not walking a lot or striking out a lot. This means, of course, that BABIP is the supreme arbiter of the quality of his seasons. He's looked good this year, but his BABIP has been .353.
Schierholtz enjoys hitting changeups and cut fastballs and that's about it. Pitchf/x rates him as essentially average or worse against every other pitch save the knuckler.
From most accounts, Nate is a good defensive right fielder. Fans rate him as having a strong, accurate arm, and he has shown a high UZR/150 in right over his career. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he could play CF. he was tried there for a week or so last year and rated poorly (and I remember him not having the instincts or spped for it). Even if Nate is a strong defensive RF, it doesn't provide much in the sense of surplus value, due to both the relative unimportance of defense at the position and the fact there is very little room in RF for any venturing outfielder to make plays. For what it's worth, Schierholtz has an essentially average range factor at RF; this is the primary driver of his miniscule (but not negative) defensive value.
Nate Schierholtz was brought in by Hoyer to do one thing; hit right-handed pitching. There's no reason he shouldn't be able to do that with a passable level of success. If he can do that, he can be valuable. A $2.25 million dollar contract isn't a hindrance to any team, and to be a success he'd have to provide maybe a single WAR. He's already been worth 0.4 this season, the same mark as his output last season. Schierholtz stands to get 400 or so PA on the Cubs this year and I'd expect him to have a wOBA of .330 or so. That's a valuable piece at the trade deadline; maybe not as a primary offensive upgrade, but as a very serviceable injury replacement. All told, this is a low-risk, medium-reward move that a good GM should be proud to make.
I think you should rename this series to “Better Know a Replacement Level Player” until further notice.
Yeah. One of those guys that would be an okay piece on a contending team, but not really a superstar. Also called Theo’s bread and butter.
It’s already called that. He just shortens it to “Cub”
Cubs split the series!
(i.e. tonight’s game postponed)
h/t to Sitrick
If a woman was doing this, “victims” would be telling the story in a bar instead of calling the cops. It might have actually caused an accident though because it’s hard to take a video of the car next to you while driving safely.
WaLi’s SWMBOQuote Reply
I accidentally thumbs downed this on my phone. Sorry about that. Can you ever forgive me?
I didn’t think much of the Shierholtz signing at the time. I didn’t like it or dislike it. Looking at how well he hits righties makes it look pretty good though. Good post.
I took it as either someone hates me and my schtick (which is about 95-99% of the world), or they just hate that the Cubs are full of replacement level players. Either way, I was on the ground in the fetal position, openly weeping for roughly 45 minutes.
No dinner tonight.
I know it’s really early yet, but what is Sappelt’s leash like? I guess I don’t know if he’s got options left, but if so, I wonder how long he sticks around in Chicago.
So far I really like Schierholtz. He seems to never have a crappy one pitch slow grounder at bat and usually gets pretty deep into the count and sees a lot of pitches. Kind of like Dejesus in that respect. He may not produce a ton of power but he can at least make a pitcher work a bit not to mention he has a cannon which should hopefully gun some people down and thats always fun to watch.
Might be leather. Possibly comes with a gag or choke collar. Why? Are you wanting to get him a new one? His birthday was on January 2, but maybe next year.
WaLi’s SWMBOQuote Reply
He barely even threw that ball from the right field corner to the 1st basemen on that first play.
@ WaLi’s SWMBO:
I guess Feldman will get to lead the Cubs tomorrow.
Just got a job offer which will move me back to Illinois and found out that the Cubs aren’t going to lose today. Great day!
Have you checked with SWMBO?
Illinois, huh? That’s unfortunate.
So jealous. Looks like I’ll be stuck in TX for another year, though still a nontrivial chance that I could be moving to Tennessee or the Bay Area
I more or less made that mistake when I took this job.
You didn’t check with WaLi’s SWMBO?
I teach 120 7th graders who are being taken to a Cubs game as a field trip tomorrow. I will have half of them in class in the morning, and the other half will miss because of the game. I use these types of days as *fun* or throwaway days where we read something interesting and discuss it, but they aren’t tested on it or held accountable any other way.
I wanted to give them something baseball related. It’d have to be a 2 page max and light enough on language and math for them to digest. Any recommendations? I was thinking of something like a basic intro to baseball stats, but that might be a little too dry. We’re also dealing with the small sample-size issue of a single game. Anyone have a favorite baseball article/fun story or something? Keep in mind, these kids are “gifted” but they’re also 13.
(braces for a barrage of inappropriate links)
I would suggest Alvin’s post about the proper posting of posts about posting. If nothing else, it would drill into their heads that the comma exists and can easily be over-used.
You should email Tango. I think it was Alex Remington who wrote some really good stat intro articles on Yahoo a few years ago. you might check that out.
How about something from the Roland Pryzbylewski probability textbook?
uncle daveQuote Reply
If the Bang Bang video montage is representative, we should have outfield corners that people won’t run on much.
Of course, they will just run on the battery instead….
So with 42 opening this (last?) weekend, you could do a Jackie Robinson theme.
http://baseballhall.org/hof/robinson-jackie (including induction speech to HOF)
http://www.biography.com/people/jackie-robinson-9460813/videos/jackie-robinson-full-episode-2190492587 (this is a video)
Or you could mix “oldies music” and “oldies sports” and discuss Disco Demolition Night. Plus get a few jabs in at the Sox too.
(Note, I didn’t read this completely for language not acceptable for 7th graders, but I assume “Disco Sucks” is ok.)
Here’s a picture of MBDMick, Berselius, and Aisley at DDNight.
(dying laughing) (dying laughing) (dying laughing)
looks like they are going to have to add another chapter to The Cubs Way.
….And someone sent a goat’s head to Rickett’s office today.
He attacked the actual dugout?? (dying laughing)
New shit http://obstructedview.net/minor-leagues/journeymen-of-tomorrow-4-10-13.html