The Cubs Sign Their X-Factor
Tim Brown of Yahoo breaks the story that the Cubs have signed outfielder Xavier Nady on a one year deal...dollar amount yet to be determined (likely in the 3-4.5M range according to Levine). Out of the names mentioned so far - Jermaine Dye, Rocco Baldelli, and Johnny Gomes, Nady was probably my preference on the assumption that he's recovered fully from his second Tommy John Surgery. According to Tim Brown, the physical is later this week but Nady's been throwing regularly and without problems. Before we get into the player, let's talk about the injury. Dr. Hecht in the comments dropped this note about having multiple TJ surgeries yesterday.
The basic operation takes a tendon graft from the forearm from a small tendon called the palmaris longus.
On a second surgery they have to take a graft from somewhere else. Other sites are available (the other arm or a tendon from the calf (plantaris) but that means he's gonna have two limbs involved to recovery. I'm not sure why his graft failed but it's pretty unusual for this to happen (expecially when it's not a pitcher). This would make me a bit leary too (Chad Fox alert!) but my guess is he'll be OK.
As for the player, Nady is best in right and left field, but has played 82 games at first base, 45 in center field and even 3 games at third base. Chances are he'll stick to right, left and occasionaly first base and likely send Micah Hoffpauir to Triple A with Sam Fuld getting the roster spot as 5th outfielder and back-up center fielder although a poor showing in spring training or extremely strong one by Hoffpauir could change that.
Nady has a lifetime 108 OPS+ (.792), .342 woBA and is 31 years old. His walk rate of 5.8% per plate appearance is pretty poor and a 19.9% K rate isn't too great either. The projection systems on his Fangraphs page all peg him in the high 700 to low 800's in OPS. His main duty will be as platoon partner to Kosuke Fukudome and his 3-year splits are:
vs LHP: 278/358/454 812 in 227 AB's
vs RHP: 297/340/504 844 in 787 AB's
227 AB's isn't much to draw any firm conclusions upon, but it does appear that he's someone who you won't have to waste 2 players on in late-inning lineup juggling as he seems to handle righties just fine. His other main duty will be as pinch hitter where he's had all of 58 PA's for a 255/397/426 slash line. I assume if all goes right, he'd also be one of the candidates to DH in interleague games when that time comes.
Assuming Nady passes his physical and can make the throw from right field still, I think you have to like this signing. The Cubs aren't likely to get the player that tore it up for the Pittsburgh Pirates to start the 2008 season and ended with 25 HR's and 97 RBI's after being traded to the New York Yankess. But he's definitely shown enough with the bat that he should do more good than harm if he can handle not getting regular at-bats. And if something should happen to Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome, Lee or even Ramirez I suppose, the Cubs will have a very solid replacement ready to step in on a regular basis.
I'm pretty sure there is not a single person ignoring it at this point In all of baseball and it's a thing everyone is talking about.
That said he also managed to get out of a bases loaded, zero outs situation with no runs given up and that is something very few pitchers could do and it wasn't just because of a few balls called strikes. So....Let's not just talk about Lester when there are throwing issues because there has been a lot more good than bad just this game let alone this year.
there's nothing anyone can do about anything going on out there. i don't even post every one he fumbles into. i also post about HRs and other crap. it's happening, good or bad things are happening.
this is an interesting thing to me. just because it's a negative thing doesn't make it "woah."
we had 1000000000 posts about leadoff men and 2nd batters during the dusty years when everyone knew speed leads and contact-with-low-Ks hits 2nd. we all knew what's up. some people talked about it.
Have I mentioned how much I love TLS?
Guess I should have waited to post that.
Ignore it? You talk about it all the time. I'm sure the rest of the board notices, but just doesn't feel the need to harp on it. It is not like we can do anything about it anyway.
that's an interesting leap.
so, we ignore the thing that keeps happening and if one chooses to not ignore it then one obviously wants to replace him with dan harren.
it's fair game. the guy, on multiple occasions, puts the team in 4+ out innings because a guy who throws a ball for a living can't throw to a base. it's not like this happened once or twice or three times or four times or...
There goes Ross' ASG prospects...
unique curiosity is a good description...
he has a lot of 4-5 out innings. this is at least the 2nd time he's turned a double play ball into 0 outs just this year that i've noticed and he's got a slew of "4-out" innings under his belt, too.
and 1.83 ERA
Cubs should trade him, get a worse pitcher that loses games instead but can make a throw to 1b.
Agreed, but like with Garza, I am surprised that more managers don't try an exploit a clear weakness.
not sure either, but in most cases I imagine someone else can field it. And if you bunt it directly at him, he would have enough time to underhand toss it or just run it over?
Today's bunt, he really, really didn't want to field it. Not sure if he lost it in his glove after that or just wasn't going to make the throw. It's not ideal obviously, yet still hasn't had any real impact on the team.
well, how long do keep pretending that a bunt hit well back to the pitcher that would be a double play for many pitchers isn't a "thing"? it's a story. it's not like it's a physical defect people are picking on.
no one gave chuck knoblauch a pass when he lost the ability to throw a ball to 1st.
it's a unique curiosity for a guy who throws a ball on a professional level for a living.
CB Bucknor behind the plate...he is and will continue to always be awful.
Not sure why teams don't bunt more often against him.
To be fair he also had a strike 3 called a ball.
Tomorrow's Sun-Times Headline after Lester's 1 ER, 10 K effort. "150M Lester Fails to Field Sac Bunt."
Yeah, I saw that. Gotta love being a pitcher and getting that "several inches off the inside corner" called as a strike.
LESTER ESCAPES! no runs after bases loaded, 0 out!
30 pitch inning.