Ten days ago, after I scored the Giants and Phillies game when Todd Wellemeyer took on Jamie Moyer, I meant to write this piece.
I had just witnessed the coming of age for Giants flychaser, Nate Schierholtz. Aside from grabbing a couple of key hits in the game, the right fielder first threw out Ryan Howard trying to advance on what looked like a double, but wasn't. Next time up Howard hit a similar shot, to Schierholtz, and after taking a wide turn around first, Howard thought better of trying to advance on the Giants right fielder.
A few innings later Ben Francisco hit a like pinch hit shot to right, and like Howard, took a wide turn around first, only to stick with first base, and at that point I noted to Matt Bartlett, my support guy, that I guess challenging Schierholtz, considering the Phillies were down by three runs, was unlikely the rest of the night. Matt agreed.
So, in the ninth, when Chase Utley clobbered another shot into Schierholtz' domain, it seemed incredulous that he would try to stretch the single, but he did and was cut down. "So much for logic," noted Matt.
But, at that moment, Schierholtz claimed the starting spot in right field until further notice. And, I knew it, and meant to blog about it, but got busy and distracted.
Then I was going to mention him in last Monday's Hotpage, but thought that what I had witnessed merited more than a paragraph there, and meant to write again, here.
But, a couple of columns and some other stuff got in the way, and since then Schierholtz has hit around .500, been beaned, and then returned to swipe his first base and homer, also for the first time this year.
Just before that Tuesday night game, nearly a fortnight ago, I tried to pry Schierholtz loose in a trade in my Strat keeper league, but was rebuffed. I am not sure why as Nate had not yet earned an everyday spot, and I suspected his defense would be good, if nothing else. Not to mention I need to rebuilt my outfield of Bill Hall, Chris Duncan, Jermaine Dye, and Lance Nix.
And, well, now he will be hard to pry free. I can suggest that you want Schierholtz. In Strat he will be excellent, but, in general, look for Mark Kotsay-type production. Solid across the board, with some pop and speed and a nice .280 average.
Get him now, before it is too late.