Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Two things sum up Everth Cabrera’s 2013 season: All-Star selection and PED suspension. Cabrera put together a great season batting .283 with 54 runs scored and 37 stolen bases in 95 games. Unfortunately, Cabrera’s year was cut short after being suspended for 50 games because of his connection to the Biogenesis clinic. When the Padres begin arbitration talks with Cabrera, the question is, can he produce at the same level without PEDs?
Up until the PED suspension, Cabrera was having his best season in the majors. Most notably, Cabrera’s slash went from .246/.324/.324 in 2012 to .283/.355/.381 in 2013. It is very likely that the PEDs helped Cabrera make a substantial improvement in his game. This possibility allows the Padres to offer him a one-year deal at minimal cost, forcing Cabrera to prove himself again during the 2014 season.
When Cabrera is batting in the lead off spot, he substantially improves the lineup. He has A+ speed, and if he can retain his ability to hit the ball and get on base from 2013, then the Padres will be in good shape at the top of the order. Cabrera and Venable setting the table for Jedd Gyorko and a healthy Carlos Quentin could be a consistent run-producing lineup. However, the potential offensive production is based on Cabrera’s numbers from his PED year, so we should hope, but not expect, Cabrera to return to form in 2014.
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