Aug 132011
New Phillies outfielder Jack Cust

The Phillies added Jack Cust to provide some power off the bench (photo: Keith Allison)

The Phillies have added some pop to their system in the form of veteran Jack Cust, formerly of the Mariners.

With Ross Gload dealing with a lingering hip issue and not really giving the team much of anything, Cust can provide some lefty power off the bench for the stretch run.

“We don’t have a ton of power off our bench. We thought it was worth giving it a shot,” said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. when announcing the move.

Cust was signed to a non-guaranteed minor league deal.

The 32 year-old veteran was released last week by Seattle after only hitting .213 with three  homers and 23 RBIs in 225 at bats over 67 games.  Cust spent the previous four seasons with Oakland, putting up solid numbers before dropping off significantly.  From 2007-2010, he hit 97 home runs for the A’s, including a career high 33 in 2008.   Unfortunately, he also led the American League in strikeouts from 2007-2009.  Combine that with his statistical freefall and it’s no surprise he’s available for nothing.

For his career, Cust has hit .242 with 105 homers, 323 RBIs, 444 walks, 819 strikeouts, and an OPS of .813 in 10 seasons with six teams.

With a history of solid power and the ability to take a walk, not to mention Gload giving absolutely nothing, Cust is a nice addition with zero risk.  Jim Thome would have been preferable but Cust will have to do, for now at least.  Hopefully he can be 2011’s version of the legendary Matt Stairs.

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