Well, thanks Kirk. (Because we had to have Kirk, we don't have Miguel Diaz)

And defense.  Villar have never been great, but Santana has been bad in the OF (he's been pretty damn unluck with the stick too, he's smoked some balls right at guys more times than I can count).  

Thames is better defensively than Carter was.  

Packdog posted:

Cubs intimating that Thames hot start is suspicious.

Whiney Fu(ks 

I would bet he's clean, but maybe the test they did last week will prove me wrong. 

I think what's more likely going on is that teams have a scouting report on Thames based on his 684 plate appearances in MLB in 2011-2012. In those plate appearances he walked 38 times and struck out 175 times. In 71 plate appearances this year, he's walked 11 times. So if you extrapolate that out to 684 plate appearances he'd walk 106 times (or 3 times as much as he did before). That's the difference - he's not getting himself out as much swinging at crap. He's striking out a little less (but still a lot) but seeing more pitches per at-bat which gives him more chances to crush a mistake pitch. This is exactly what this article by ESPN says - he is much more disciplined at the plate.

He's been a terror so far because teams were still pitching to him like he was the old free-swinging Thames. Once teams get a book on the "new" Thames they'll figure out a way to get him out more often and he'll regress to the mean. He'll likely still be a 30 HR a year type guy which is a good return for what they signed him for. 

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