Sep 14, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz (19) hits an RBI double against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Your 2014 Chicago Cubs: Nate Schierholtz

The Chicago Cubs embark upon the 2014 season after an off-season that saw the team made little changes to the Major League roster. In 2014, the Cubs will hope for improvement from their position players and pitching staff after a 2013 season that saw the team lose 96 games.

Nate Schierholtz was the starting right fielder for the Cubs during the 2013 season and will start the 2014 season in the same capacity.

After being a fringe Major League player with the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies to start his career, Schierholtz had a career year with the Cubs in 2013.

In 2013, Schierholtz hit .251/.301/.470 to go along with 21 home runs and 68 RBIs. Beyond those numbers, Schierholtz had a wOBA of .331 and a wRC+ of 106. Schierholtz’s .219 ISO last season to go along with a K percentage of 18.7% also fit in well with the Cubs offense.

The Cubs offense will once again be dependent on Schierholtz to produce in 2014. After trading away Alfonso Soriano last summer, the Cubs may be lacking power in the outfield. Meaning, Schierholtz will be expected to mirror his power numbers from 2013 in the 2014 season. Though, that may be tough to ask of the former top Giants prospect.

For his career, Schierholtz has an ISO of .160 to go along with a wOBA of .319 and a wRC+ of 96. Those numbers aren’t far off from Schierholtz’s 2013 season though most projections have the outfielder taking  a step back in 2014.

Schierholtz is not a part of the Cubs long-term picture though the veteran is considered to be a valued member of the Cubs clubhouse considering his experience. That being said, the Cubs may look to trade Schierholtz during the 2014 season. It seems likely that one of the Cubs starting outfielders will be pushed out once the likes of Mike Olt, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora are ready for the Major League level. The Cubs have no intention of trading starting left fielder Junior Lake; Ryan Sweeney likely won’t generate too much trade value; leaving Schierholtz as the odd man out and the most likeliest to be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline.

For now, at least, Schierholtz may be the most important offensive player for the Cubs behind Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.

Tags: Chicago Cubs

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