Anyway, this post is part one of a two-part series on former NL Central sluggers (and Cub killers.) Richie Sexson defined Cub killer to the tune of 18 homers and a .929 OPS. Now, the man who single-handedly put the Cubs in the playoffs in 2003 is out of a job. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
First baseman Richie Sexson was part of the late-90s talent developed and later traded away by the Cleveland Indians in a deal that netted the Tribe Bob Wickman and Jason Bere. Sexson found a home in Milwaukee, hitting 14 bombs and driving in 47 runs and getting on base at a .398 clip.
For a three-year span, Sexson was not only one of the biggest power threats in the NL Central, but in the entire league. He averaged 39.6 homers, 126 RBI, a modest .274 batting average and a solid .894 OPS.
Then he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a boatload of players including Junior Spivey, Craig Counsell, Lyle Overbay and Chris Capuano. That's when his troubles began.
Big Sexy only hit nine homers in his 90 plate appearances in Diamondback purple (I think that's what it was then). He was granted free-agency at the end of the season and signed a lucrative deal with the Seattle Mariners.
And on paper the move didn't look too bad. He averaged 31 homers 97 runs batted in three seasons. But his averaged dropped from .264 in 2006 to .205 in 2007. Then Big Rich hit rock bottom hitting .221 between stints with the Mariners and Yankees, despite mashing the lefties to a .325/.414/.578/.992 clip.
So what happened to the 6-foot-8-inch masher?
Well, the OBP and OPS numbers stayed pretty constant, but the batting average dropped and his production against righties severely plummeted. Maybe leaving the very hitter friendly Miller Park for pitcher paradise parks such as Bank One Ballpark in Arizona and Safeco Field in Seattle.
In any case, the former All-Star first baseman has been regulated to platoon duty as the certified right-handed hitting lefty masher best used in a DH platoon.
Coming Soon: The departure of Adam Dunn from the NL Central and the debate whether Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez is more dangerous to the Cubs' pennant chances.