The veteran infielder will add to the Cubs’ depth chart following infielder Nico Hoerner’s left hamstring strain during Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team announced they were placing Hoerner on the 10-day injured list and picking up outfielder Rafael Ortega from their AA affiliate.
Strange-Gordon appeared in 33 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2020 and batted career lows of .200/.268/.213.
In February, the 33-year-old briefly signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds but wasn’t able to land an Opening Day roster spot. He will provide both speed and versatility to the Cubs, having played second base, shortstop, and center field in past seasons.
Over his 10-year career in the majors, Strange-Gordon certainly left his mark. Perhaps his most impressive run was from 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers through 2015 with the Miami Marlins, where he earned two All-Star appearances, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger Award while leading the league in steals both years (64 and 58, respectively), in triples (12) in 2014, and in batting average (.333), hits (205), and steals caught (20) in 2015.
He also had a strong showing in 2017 with the Marlins, leading the league once again in steals (60) and steals caught (16).
With this signing, the Cubs are not only adding a veteran on-field contributor but a proven leader off the field as well.
He is a four-time nominee of the Roberto Clemente Award, the honor bestowed upon the player who best represents the game through their exceptional character, philanthropy, and community involvement.
He is also on the advisory board of The Players Alliance, a group of over 100 current and former Black baseball players whose mission, in their words, is “building equitable systems in order to change the trajectory of diversity throughout baseball.”
As with any minor league deal, Strange-Gordon will have to earn his opportunity with the big league club, but the Cubs may have just gotten themselves a steal.
Dee Strange-Gordon, the man known as “Lightning,” is ready to strike.
The speedy 33-year old could be an important veteran addition both on the field and the clubhouse for a team looking to make a run to the postseason.
It wasn’t that long ago when Strange-Gordon was terrorizing the basepaths as a second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
From 2014-17 he stole 212 bases and scored 341 runs in 530 games. He was a two-time All-Star, batting .304 and leading Major League Baseball in steals in three out of four seasons. Twice he produced more than 200 hits in a season and he took the National League batting crown in 2015.
Further demonstrating his well-rounded skill set, Strange-Gordon won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award as well.
His .309 average with the Marlins remains the second-highest in franchise history.
1. Miguel Cabrera.313 2. Dee Gordon .309 3. Hanley Ramirez.300 4. Kevin Millar.296 5. Juan Pierre.295 6. Cliff Floyd.294 7. Luis Castillo .293 8. Jeff Conine/Christian Yelich .290 10. Edgar Renteria/Gary Sheffield.288 pic.twitter.com/V6QTo1QbBg
But after moving from the NL to join the Seattle Mariners, Strange-Gordon was unable to match his peak production.
In three seasons in the Pacific Northwest, he had fewer stolen bases (55) combined than he had in his final season with the Marlins (60). In 2020 he posted career-lows in every major batting category, and after being released following the season, it looked like Strange-Gordon didn’t have a path back to the bigs.
Strange-Gordon was undeterred. He signed on with the Cincinnati Reds during Spring Training as a low-risk veteran option to compete at shortstop.
Even after a solid spring where he batted .281 with a .361 OBP and four swipes, he was passed over for a spot on the opening day roster for younger options.
When the Milwaukee Brewers came calling with a minor league deal a month ago, he didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity.
Assigned to the Brewers’ Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Strange-Gordon worked out at second base, shortstop and in the outfield. With injuries mounting across the big leagues, that versatility makes him an attractive option.
The Dee Strange-Gordon of old began to re-emerge in the Music City. He slashed .333/.378/.500 with a .878 OPS in 45 plate appearances.
His speed hasn’t gone anywhere either. Even after that difficult 2020 season, he ranked in the 85th percentile in speed last season.
Unfortunately, the numbers game didn’t work in his favor. The Brewers added infielder Willy Adames from Tampa Bay and his glove, though his bat has been pretty quiet this year.
What are the options available to Dee Strange-Gordon at this point?
The New York Mets have been mentioned as a possible destination. As their injured list gets longer and longer, having someone who can fill in holes like a can of Flex Seal.
New York could use an influx of energy for their stagnant offense, with J.D. Davis, Pete Alonso, Kevin Pillar, and others expected to be out for a while.
Another possible spot could be in Oakland with the A’s. Though the A’s still sit 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros, they haven’t gotten much production at shortstop. Perhaps Strange-Gordon could hold it down if Elvis Andrus continues to struggle.
Expanding the radius to the rest of the bigs, there are 10 second baseman with at least 120 at bats batting under .250.
At the very least, Strange-Gordon can help manufacture runs either as a runner or at the plate, and provide range in the field.
His resume and his skill set should get him a landing spot soon enough. When he finds that place, expect Dee Strange-Gordon to hit the ground running.
After rebranding himself in honor of his late mother, former batting champion Dee Strange-Gordon looks to take advantage of a fresh start with the Brewers. Gordon had one of the unforgettable and touching baseball moments of the decade during one of the game’s most somber moments.
The day after All-Star pitcher and Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez tragically passed, Strange-Gordon led off the game by stepping into the right side of the batter’s box as Fernandez did and took a pitch.
As if scripted for a movie directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Strange-Gordon then switched to his familiar left side and blasted a lead-off home run, sending his teammates and city into a frenzy. He crossed the plate and cried inconsolably as the Marlins would go on to win 7-3.
Fast forward to 2021, Strange-Gordon is back in the senior circuit after signing a minor league deal with Milwaukee.
In his 10th season, the 33-year-old saw success during his time in spring training with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .281 with 4 RBIs and 4 steals but was released from the team on March 26.
Strange Gordon comes from a baseball family. His father Thomas “Flash” Gordon played for eight teams in his 21-year MLB career.
He played in the 2010 Futures Game and was rated as one of the top prospects in the Twins’ organization, but has dealt with a few injury bumps, including a bout with Covid-19 that left him hospitalized last year.
Despite being the son of a famous pitcher, Dee’s journey has not been without its trauma. His mom and dad didn’t stay together. He then lost his mother at the age of six when she was killed by her boyfriend. It was not the first time his mother had been a victim of domestic violence. Just days prior to her death, that same boyfriend was being abusive and Dee saved her by hitting him over the head with a dumbbell.
This season he decided to honor her by re-using his legal surname. He had gone by the name for most of his life but at one point decided to simplify his last name after it was once mispronounced by an announcer during a rookie ball game.
Strange-Gordon made the 2014 and 2015 All-Star games stealing 122 bases during that span. He won both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award in 2015 as a second baseman for the Miami Marlins. His legs were a weapon for any team that secured his services.
Just when it seemed like everything was perfect, Dee was suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2016 and missed 80 games. He hit .308 in 2017 and stole 60 bases for the second time in his career.
He became an outfielder after joining a Mariners team that already had Robinson Cano. In three seasons with Seattle, Strange Gordon hit .266 despite having a rough 2020 that saw him hit just .200 in 33 games.
Instead of toiling in the minors, Dee has an opportunity to make himself valuable again. With Kolten Wong expected to land on the injury list and Luis Urias struggling at the plate, it’s possible Dee Strange Gordon will get to make an impact on a very good Brewers team looking to leapfrog into the conversation as baseball’s best team.
Every player’s path to the MLB is different and that feeling when you finally make it is one that is indescribable for some.
One of our MLBbros made his MLB debut this season and had a game to remember. Nick Gordon played his first game for the Minnesota Twins on May 6th against the Texas Rangers.
Gordon put together an impressive performance in his debut. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and had two stolen bases. This brother wanted to make sure that Twins fans and MLB fans would know who he is.
Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli was pleased with Gordon’s performance.
“He seemed to be playing pretty confidently from the start,” Baldelli told the StarTribune. “He was not hesitant. He went out there and made some things happen for us. He played a great game.”
Gordon, just 25, talked about that feeling of finally making it and being on that big stage.
“But to feel it all for yourself, it’s definitely a different feeling,” he said. “It’s a kid in a candy store. It’s definitely something I can’t really explain it. I wish everyone had this feeling. It’s definitely a great feeling, it’s great to be here and be a part of the team and everything.”
Now that last name may sound familiar to some. Gordon is the half-brother of Dee-Strange Gordon, who recently signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and has spent 10 seasons in the league.
Gordon’s father is former MLB All-Star and World Series champion, Tom “Flash” Gordon. He had a successful pitching career from 1988 to 2009.
So you see baseball is the sport that the Gordon’s fell in love with and have had a lot of success playing.
For Nick Gordon, he’s trying to follow in his father and brother’s footsteps and play in the league for numerous seasons.
So far he’s only appeared in two games during the 2021 season, going 0-for-2 in his recent game on May 24th.
The Twins have given Nick Gordon the runaround this season as he’s gone back and forth from the minors to the big leagues on multiple occasions.
What the Twins need to do is give him a chance and see how he performs in multiple series. Have him play each game of a series and not just one game. And they have no business sending him back to the minors because he’s already proven himself playing there.
Nick has only had one season in the minors where he batted below .250.
He’s been consistent throughout his minor-league career, posting a .277 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage.
Nick Gordon was the fifth overall pick by the Twins in the 2014 MLB draft. He was one of the top prospects coming into the draft and he put the work in throughout his minor-league career.
It’s a grind making it to the big leagues and not everyone gets that opportunity. Now that Nick Gordon has that first game under his belt, he has a feel of what the game is like at that top level.
And with his talent and skill set, he’ll have no problem adjusting. All the Twins need to do is give our MLB bro a chance to establish himself and show the league why the Gordon Family has had success in pro baseball.
J.P. Crawford’s youthful exuberance has been infectious within the confines of the Seattle Mariners clubhouse and the young shortstop’s energy, bat and glove has been a driving force in helping the former cellar dwellers reach the 10-win plateau Sunday.
This is a resilient Seattle team to watch as they have piled on multiple comeback efforts this season enroute to becoming the second team in the American League to reach double-digit dubs.
That includes Sunday’s series-clinching win against division-rival Houston Astros, highlighted by Crawford scoring from first on a triple to take the lead and firing up Mariners fans while crossing the plate.
There hasn’t been this much youthful exuberance, Black excellence and optimism since Ken Griffey Jr. was flicking moonshots and scaling stadium walls in a single bound, back in the nasty 90s.
Last Sunday, Crawford finally got his season batting average over the Mendoza Line. He is now hitting .275 with 7 runs 14 hits and 3 RBIs, including a huge go-ahead two-run double en route to his Mariners sweeping a doubleheader against Baltimore.
It’s great to see Crawford finally start to exhibit some consistency at the plate as he has always been a stopper on the defensive side. The power’s not there yet, but he’s a work in progress on the serious upswing.
Last season, the 26-year-old shortstop out of Lakewood, California became just the 17th black infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove, doing so in just his fourth season.
Crawford was drafted 16th overall in the 2013 draft out of high school by the Philadelphia Phillies. It was clear at an early age that he was a wizard with the web. He started on varsity as a freshman and broke school records for hits, runs, steals and walks. He was traded to Seattle in 2019.
Crawford is just the second black shortstop to win a Gold Glove in the American League, joining five-time winner Derek Jeter who had three straight from 2004-2006. Jimmy Rollins, Ozzie Smith, Ernie Banks and Maury Wills each won the award in the National League.
In total, only 17 black infielders have won Gold Gloves in their careers, seven since 1996: Dee Strange Gordon, Orlando Hudson, J-Roll, Derrick Lee, Brandon Phillips, Derek Jeter and the newly added J.P. Crawford.
Crawford, whose cousin is former Tampa Bay Rays and Houston native Carl Crawford, finished last season with a career-high .986 fielding percentage on 221 chances. He was tied for the league lead with seven defensive runs saved.
Although you may have to stay up late to watch the west coast Mariners, they are one of the more diverse and youth-infused squads in the entire league. Crawford is not only making a name for himself on the field, but he’s all in on improving race relations in the country and showing his support for all social justice initiatives.
Crawford will look to join a short list of legendary shortstops who have won multiple Gold Gloves (Derek Jeter, Ozzie Smith, Jimmy Rollins and Maury Wills).
As for his team, the American League West is wide open and after only being a few games out of a playoff spot last season, the Mariners are looking to take that next leap into the upper echelon of MLB clubs.
With young, athletic and gifted leaders like Crawford on the job, it’s a definite possibility.