Kevin Millar … On the Field

Kevin Millar does everything off the field the Chicago Cubs need in the clubhouse. He keeps his teammates loose. He entertains them when the team bus breaks down and reminds them baseball is just a game. Millar has lived up to his reputation in his short time with the Cubs. He has said and done everything the Cubs expected off the field.

Millar has outperformed expectations on the field this spring. He has listened to Rudy Jaramillo and has hit the ball. After nine games and 15 at bats, Millar is hitting .333/.545/.600 with seven walks, a double, a home run and three RBI.

Several of the veterans are “rooting” for Kevin Millar to make the team and the feeling is Millar could break camp on the Cubs roster. But when the games actually count, can Kevin Millar help the Cubs win games?

Seemingly everyday there is a new report from the mainstream media on Kevin Millar. The latest from the Tribune labeled Millar as the designated goofball. But in the role the Cubs need to fill, Millar’s career numbers prove he is not the right player, on the field, for the Chicago Cubs.

In his career, Kevin Millar has hit right-handed pitchers and lefties about the same for average but not for power.

  • vs. RHP – .274/.357/.459/.816 in 3336 career at bats with 213 doubles, 13 triples and 126 home runs
  • vs. LHP – .273/.361/.435/.796 in 1532 career at bat with 83 doubles, 2 triples and 44 home runs

(Link to Millar’s Baseball-Reference full career platoon splits)

So in half as many at bats, his power numbers against southpaws, which Lou Piniella would use him late in games or to give his regulars a day off, likely would not benefit the Cubs as the team’s 25th man.

Kevin Millar is used to being an everyday player. His career numbers as a player coming off the bench and as a pinch hitter back up that statement.

  • Off the Bench (substitute) – .217/.316/.336/.652 in 167 games (152 at bats) with 19 walks, seven doubles, a triple and three home runs

(Link to Millar’s Baseball-Reference starter or substitute splits)

  • Pinch-Hitting – .198/.309/.294/.602 in 149 games (126 at bats) with 18 walks, six doubles, no triples and two home runs

(Link to Millar’s Baseball-Reference defensive positions splits)

Kevin Millar hit better against lefties last season in Toronto, when he started at first base. As the team’s DH, Millar hit just .129/.247/.243/.490 in 22 games (70 at bats).

(Link to Millar’s Baseball-Reference 2009 splits)

Kevin Millar might be the right man for the Cubs in the clubhouse … unless Major League Baseball allows the Cubs to add a 26th man to their active roster, his career numbers show he probably will not them win many baseball games.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is all I ever wanted. I could eat, sleep, and dream baseball." - Smoky Joe Wood

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