CHICAGO -- Nate Schierholtz has exceeded expectations in his first season with the Cubs.
The right fielder, who has finally gotten regular playing time, has set career highs in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs.
"He's that guy you dream of as a manager," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday. "You don't have to worry about him, you don't have to worry about him playing hard. He's played with some nagging stuff. He's picked us up and had a really nice year."
Schierholtz, 29, had never reached double digits in home runs in a season, but has 21 in 131 games this year.
"We thought if he could get that many plate appearances, he could hit 15 to 25 home runs and do some things with the bat," Sveum said. "He's played a really nice right field. He's done more than what we expected."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.