The Nevin Factor
As the Cubs enter the second third of this season, they do so with the help of veteran 35-year-old Phil Nevin. While many fans seem underwhelmed by the trade, there are others who hope this is another Gary Gaetti or Kenny Lofton-like move.
Now that I have recovered from the Greg Maddux dugout explosion, I think I’m ready to post again. So let’s explore Nevin’s splits, both season and career and see if we can have any reasonable hope. After all, that’s what keeps our juices flowing isn’t it, h-o-p-e?
At first blush, Nevin’s 2006 numbers kinda remind me of Adam Dunn’s output thus far, low batting average (.215) but respectable power numbers (9 homers and 31 rbi’s), both good enough to either lead or tie his fellow Cubs so far this year. And although he has 41 fewer at bats than Juan Pierre, Nevin trails in runs scored but by a slight two.
Nevin’s OBP isn’t great (.307) but Phil will not be asked to lead off any time soon. His job is well defined – drive in runs, be that sparkplug, that Mr. Clutch, at least until Derrek Lee comes back. After that, be that first bat off the bench – which may be a bit worrisome as I’ll explain in a minute.
One of my favorite stats is risp, what one does with runners in scoring position. In his career, Nevin is batting .275 with an OBP of .365. This year he’s down somewhat. He has a .255 avg (not great but respectable) and an OPS of .877.
The other clutch category isn’t too encouraging, as hinted to earlier. Nevin’s late inning production is less than stellar – in fact, it’s downright frighteningly brutal. Four measly hits in 52v at bats, that’s it. After the 6th inning, Nevin is batting .077. career numbers are better (.242) but he is doing much better in innings 1-6.
Another red flag is his play in day games. Sunshine has been no friend of Phil Nevin. Understand, this is a small sample (9 games, 35 at bats) but Nevin has but 4 hits (.114) but 2 of those hits did clear the fences. I am praying (make that hoping, this isn’t the Rockies) that this is just an anomaly because he is thriving over his career in day games, over .300 with an OPS of over .900.
His numbers against lefties are better than righties, that could be a good sign on this club that struggles against southpaws. Finally, his Wrigley numbers lifetime. In 21 games within the Friendly Confines, Phil has produced at the pace of .272 with 7 home runs and 23 rbi’s. Not too shabby for just 21 games.
But then again, he was facing Cub pitching.