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Ian Stewart to begin season on DL with quadriceps injury

Mar 20, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Ian Stewart AP

Ian Stewart has been out since mid-February with a quadriceps injury and now the Cubs third baseman has been ruled out for Opening Day.

This offseason the Cubs non-tendered the arbitration eligible Stewart and then re-signed him to a one-year, $2 million deal. Similar to what the Tigers did with Brennan Boesch last week, they could release Stewart and save all but $500,000 of that money, but Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune expects the Cubs to stick with him.

Stewart hit just .201 with five homers and a .627 OPS in 55 games for the Cubs last year, missing most of the season with a wrist injury that required surgery, and was even worse for the Rockies in 2011. Luis Valbuena is slated to be the Cubs’ starting third baseman.

  1. nudeman - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    As I understand it, last year when Stewart got hurt this guy went home to Colorado to be with his family and “rehab”, never returning to the team. We’re not talking a late September injury, either. More like mid year.

    And so … THEY RE-SIGNED HIS SORRY ASS???? Huh?

    He is a loser, and a lousy ballplayer too. I’d love to have Theo’s job for a day just so I could cut this guy.

  2. andrewwaskow - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    He went home …To North Carolina…To be near his very pregnant wife…With the blessing of the front office. Then spent the offseason going between California and NC to work with Rod Carew to get better. Guy wanting to be around family and improve at his job doesn’t make him a loser…makes him human.

    • tuberippin - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Also what makes him human: Being a top prospect in the minors who is called up and sucks for years in the majors.

      • andrewwaskow - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        He was pretty good in 09-10. He’s had some lingering wrist issues since then that seem to be cleared up. His quad strain could happen to anyone. He’s not costing a lot financially, he’s not holding anyone back from the minors, and the cost to get him was high. Keeping him around to see if he can be a 25 HR/ 75 RBI guy isn’t hurting anything on a team that will not compete this season, anyway. If nothing else, he can prove he’s healthy and capable and get flipped for additional pieces later on.

      • tuberippin - Mar 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        In ’09-’10 when Stewart put up the 25 HR & 70 RBI upside to which you later refer, he also struck out in 28% of his ABs (down from 31% the year prior) and still finished with a wRC+ that was 6% below league average. He also posted a career-high ISO of .235 in ’09-’10, which appears to be an outlier when you look at his ISOs in other years. In 2012 with the Cubs, Stewart’s ISO dropped more than 100 points, a .135 ISO.

        In fact, if you look at advanced statistics for 3B since 2008 (when Stewart played his first full season), his wRC+ for that timeframe is worse than Craig Counsell, Jose Lopez, Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Melvin Mora, Blake DeWitt, Chone Figgins, Jorge Cantu, Ty Wigginton and a litany of other third-base luminaries. Additionally, he’s never been able to hit lefties (career .218/.306/.382 against LHP, with a .688 OPS).

        So if Ian Stewart somehow overcomes all the lingering injury issues that have plagued him, he still will be a terrible defensive third basemen who can’t hit for average (best season was a .258 average), strikes out 2.75 times for every walk he draws, and can’t hit lefties. So in the ideal, best-case scenario (one which seems increasingly unlikely), he becomes the third base version of Adam Dunn, but with less power.

        And the Cubs traded a better player, Tyler Colvin, to Colorado in order to acquire Stewart.

  3. andrewwaskow - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I’m not saying the guy is Ron Santo. My point is that the cost was high and he has shown some flashes of what made him a top prospect. Advanced metrics are almost never great for young players, which he was 3-4on years ago. My point is that since the Cubs are not going to come within a country mile of contention this season, they might as well get a good look at what they got for Colvin and LeMahieu. There is no good reason to cut him right now.

    • tuberippin - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      There was no good reason to keep him at $2.2 million for the upcoming season, either…

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