Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome to the Rockies, Michael Cuddyer!

It's always nice to get to know the new guys, so each week I'm going to introduce one of the Rockies' newest additions. This week, I'll focus on the newly acquired outfielder/utility man, Michael Cuddyer.

2010-07-31-Michael-Cuddyer-01Michael Cuddyer was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the 1997 draft. Cuddyer played his entire career in the Twins' organization up until he signed a 3-year, $31.5 million contract this off-season to play for the Rockies. His only All-Star appearance was last season at the age of 31. Cuddyer has been a decent hitter throughout his career, but has yet to hit over .285 during a season. He's also known as a player that can play almost anywhere on the field, but his defense is only average everywhere on the field. It's nice to have him on the team due to his ability to play first base, second base, third base, and the corner outfield positions. These are all positions that the Rockies seem to have trouble filling or keeping healthy. Speaking of health, Cuddyer hasn't had a major injury since 2008 when he dislocated his index finger and lacerated his knuckle after sliding headfirst into third base in a game against the Kansas City Royals. He spent 15 days on the disabled list. He also had surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee in 2005. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about other than his age. Cuddyer will be 32 in 2012, and it sounds like the majority of his playing time will be in right field. Coors Field's outfield is huge, so hopefully his body will be able to hold up throughout the season while chasing balls into the right-center field gap. I'm sure Cuddyer won't mind chasing balls all over the field as long as he's getting his at-bats at Coors Field. He'll be able to utilize the expansive outfield in Denver, and I bet he hits more than 30 doubles every season he's in Denver. Let's take a look at his stats so we know what to expect:

Year
Age
Tm
Lg
G
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
OPS+
TB
2001
22
8
20
18
1
4
2
0
0
1
1
0
2
6
.222
.300
.333
.633
66
6
2002
23
41
123
112
12
29
7
0
4
13
2
0
8
30
.259
.311
.429
.740
95
48
2003
24
35
114
102
14
25
1
3
4
8
1
1
12
19
.245
.325
.431
.756
97
44
2004
25
115
382
339
49
89
22
1
12
45
5
5
37
74
.263
.339
.440
.779
99
149
2005
26
126
470
422
55
111
25
3
12
42
3
4
41
93
.263
.330
.422
.752
97
178
2006
27
150
635
557
102
158
41
5
24
109
6
0
62
130
.284
.362
.504
.867
124
281
2007
28
144
623
547
87
151
28
5
16
81
5
0
64
107
.276
.356
.433
.790
112
237
2008
29
71
279
249
30
62
13
4
3
36
5
1
25
40
.249
.330
.369
.699
89
92
2009
30
153
650
588
93
162
34
7
32
94
6
1
54
118
.276
.342
.520
.862
124
306
2010
31
157
675
609
93
165
37
5
14
81
7
3
58
93
.271
.336
.417
.753
107
254
2011
32
139
584
529
70
150
29
2
20
70
11
1
48
95
.284
.346
.459
.805
121
243
11 Seasons
1139
4555
4072
606
1106
239
35
141
580
52
16
411
805
.272
.343
.451
.794
111
1838
162
648
579
86
157
34
5
20
82
7
2
58
114
.272
.343
.451
.794
111
261
Generated 1/12/2012.

He looks consistent to me. We'll see about 25 home runs, 90 RBI, and a .275 average in 2012. I'll take that from a right fielder in Colorado. That's assuming Seth Smith is gone and Cuddyer ends up being the primary right fielder. It might behoove the Rockies to hold on to Smith until they find out if the Tood Helton/Jason Giambi combo at first can stay healthy and that they have a viable option for second base.

Cuddyer was well liked by the fans of Minnesota and by his teammates, which is always nice to hear about a player that's about to join your team. The Rockies pride themselves on being a tight-knit group of guys. Cuddyer will be wearing the number 3 to honor the late Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. You got to love a guy that has respect for the game and the players that helped make the game great. Also, he and his wife just had fraternal twins this past December. Congratulations to them!

I'm really excited Cuddyer is joining the Rockies this season. The only problem is that I haven't seen Cuddyer with facial hair other than a goatee? Any goatee will be lost in the follicles beside Todd Helton's mammoth goatee. He needs to either grow out a bushy beard, or do something extreme with his hair. Tulo already has the mullet. Cargo has the faux-hawk. Maybe Cuddyer can find a happy medium between the two? I'm sure Giambi will give him some hairstyle tips.

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