The 2013 MLB regular season has been collectively disappointing for the Chicago Cubs. The team is currently last in the NL Central Division. Their current record of 60-80 through 140 games is tied for second-worst in the NL and tied for fourth-worst in the MLB.
Even with the disappointing play of the team as a whole, there has been spurts of individual excellence this season. In particular, Nate Schierholtz has performed exceptionally well. Schierholtz joined the Cubs in the offseason after winning the World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2012. He was also a member of the 2010 Giants’ World Series Championship team. While on the Giants, Schierholtz served as a utility player who would occasionally pinch hit when needed.
His role has changed since joining the Cubs. He has found himself consistently starting in right field for the majority of the 2013 regular season. As a result, Schierholtz has had a career year in 2013. Schierholtz has career highs for at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in and wins above replacement during the 2013 season. They are as followed: 394 ABs, 52 Rs, 102 Hs, 26 2Bs, 20 HRs, 63 RBIs and 1.7 WAR.
Prior to the 2013 season, Schierholtz career highs for home runs was only nine and RBIs was 41. Both were done during the 2011 season. He also has had an exceptional year in the field as well. Schierholtz has only committed two errors in 108 games, 890.2 innings and has a fielding percentage of .990. Schierholtz has seen vast improvement with the addition of more playing time with the Cubs.
Schierholtz signed a one-year deal with the Cubs in the 2012 offseason. He will be a free agent this winter. The Cubs should strongly consider re-signing Schierholtz if they want to see the team improve in 2014. With recent trades of both Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus, the Cubs’ outfield has become very inexperienced. Expect the Cubs to re-sign Schierholtz in the winter and rely on him to become a leader in the clubhouse next spring.