While his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are struggling, former Twins outfielder Jason Kubel is thriving.
He hit three home runs Saturday night against Houston and added another on Sunday, along with a triple. His weekend of power boosted him into the National League lead with 71 RBI and his 21 home runs are tied for third in the league.
He also leads the National League in outfield assists. But, as much as anything, that's a sign of opponents' willingness to run on Kubel, who has never been known for his defense. (Josh Willingham leads Twins outfielders in assists. We rest our case.)
Here are a few things that have been written about in the last few days about Kubel, who has a .300 average and a .956 OPS.
SB Nation blogger Jess Root said he doubted the signing when it was made, but has since come around: "Kubel is well on his way to over 100 RBI, which an Arizona hitter has not reached since 2009. Kubel has been the perfect addition to the lineup. Having him in a group of four outfielders that can start (Kubel, Gerardo Parra, Chris Young and Justin Upton) makes the team better."
Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter told the Arizona Republic: "It's getting to that point you almost think the guy can choose and decide when he's going to hit a home run." The complete story is here.
Kubel is taking advantage of a hitter-friendly home field, according to this Fantasy Baseball report from The Sports Network: "Kubel is hitting more fly balls than ever before, but he's also managed to pick up an extra-base hit 12 percent of the time, a statistic partially aided by his friendly home ballpark and partially due to his 21 percent line drive percentage, up three percent from last season and six percent from 2010."
And if you want to watch Kubel's Jim Thome imitation from Saturday night -- one homer apiece to left, center and right, go here.