Everth Cabrera was sent to the 15-day DL on Wednesday, retroactive to July 1st, with a hamstring strain. Just like last year now, the Padres near the All-Star Break with nearly their entire “starting” infield on the disabled list. Jedd Gyorko and his .150 average is there. Yonder Alonso and his .210 average is there. Phew, good thing Chase Headley and his .215 average is still healthy! Now, Everth Cabrera joins the bunch, and the Padres might be better off. He is hitting just .218 this season. His OBP is .256 and he has been the Padres lead-off hitter for much of the season. The question now becomes, what do the Padres do when he comes back and beyond?
When Everth Cabrera came up in 2009, he showed signs of greatness, and even finished 8th in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He stole 25 bases, and his defense and speed energized a team that was not very good. He was even named as the 2009 Nicuaraguan Professional Sports Athlete of the Year. Injuries slowed him after that, and he spent most of 2010 and 2011 back in Triple-A, but came back strong in 2012 after an injury to Jason Bartlett. That season, he led the National League in stolen bases with 44, with only 4 caught stealing. He played in a career-high 114 games, and seemed to be really hitting his stride.
He picked up where he left off in 2013, even hitting for a career high .283 batting average, making his first All-Star Game, and running rampant again, picking up 37 steals in just 95 games. Then came news of the Biogenesis scandal. Cabrera said he had taken only limited substances (never said what he did take), and that his agents had given it to him. Those agents were linked to 12 players involved in the Biogenesis clinic.
So, as 2014 began, the Padres had two players in Cabrera and catcher Yasmani Grandal who were coming back from links to PED’s and Biogenesis. Cabrera was off to a blazing April, hitting well over .300 and playing great defense to boot. Then it started going downhill. He has now made 13 errors on the season, and despite still showing a great arm and range, does not utilize his skills the way a 5-year veteran should at the position. His batting average has absolutely plummeted to the point it is at now. Though he does lead the Padres in multi-hit games, he must also be vying for the most hitless games too. Though that is a stat with a lot of competition on this year’s team.
So where do we go from here? Alexi Amarista will fill in for Cabrera while he is on the DL, but surely the Padres must be re-considering options for the shortstop position for the future. Speed is great, but you have to get on base to use it. Everth Cabrera has not proven that he can be that guy to do so.