Nordhagen had limited range as an outfielder and saw mostly reserve duty. In 1980, the only year in which he played regularly, he hit 15 home runs for the White Sox. He had a strong arm and caught 25 ML games; he is one of the few players to pitch and catch for the same club in the same year (1979). His 1982 trade from the Blue Jays to the Pirates was canceled after one game when he developed back spasms. With Toronto, he led AL pinch hitters in 1982 with a .423 average (11-for-26).