Sox fans may know him as “that guy” or “@$%!&?@&” but Jason Kubel might not be a bad fit on the South Side.
In eighty-one career games at U.S. Cellular, the equivalent of a full home schedule, Kubel has hit .274 with twenty-two home runs and seventy-six RBI. Kubel played in just ninety-nine games for the Twins this year, down from one hundred forty-three last season. His numbers (.273/12/58), though, were on track for a typical year.
Kubel has been overshadowed by the likes of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer in Minnesota but people in the Central have definitely noticed him. Like most guys on the Sox roster Kubel is a very streaky player but he tends to heat up against teams in the division – a trend that would be very helpful in late August and into September. Every win matters, especially the ones recorded in April, and Kubel has been a better hitter in the first half through his entire career. There’s nearly a twenty-point difference in batting average between the first and second half.
Thirteen errors through seven seasons is indicative of a good outfielder, something we haven’t in left field in a long time. His arm is a nice one as well as he recorded a career high nine assists this past year, good for twenty-second in all of baseball.
Another positive about Kubel: he’s a left-handed batter. Sandwich a threat like him between two righties and that would be a pain to manage around late in a ballgame. If Dunn’s 2011 campaign was a fluke – and I know we’re all hoping it was – then he and Kubel would be huge assets. I think Jason could greatly benefit from this Sox lineup.
We’ll be looking at several free agents over the next few weeks. Some infielders, some outfielders, and even a few pitchers. Kubel looks like a good fit in the outfield and the only negative I can think of right now is that he’s been a Minnesota Twin his whole career. But who else is out there?
Keep checking back for more as we brave this 2011-2012 offseason.