2015 Orioles preview: Everth Cabrera

0
12

With Opening Day less than a week away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2015 Orioles every day as they try to defend their American League East title this season.

March 9 – Adam Jones
March 10 – Chris Tillman
March 11 – J.J. Hardy
March 12 – Zach Britton
March 13 – Chris Davis
March 14 – Wei-Yin Chen
March 15 – Jonathan Schoop
March 16 – Travis Snider
March 17 – Kevin Gausman
March 18 – Alejandro De Aza
March 19 – Tommy Hunter
March 20 – Manny Machado
March 21 – Brad Brach
March 22 – Steve Pearce
March 23 – Darren O’Day
March 24 – Caleb Joseph
March 25 – Wesley Wright
March 26 – Delmon Young
March 27 – Miguel Gonzalez
March 28 – Ryan Flaherty
March 29 – Ubaldo Jimenez

INF Everth Cabrera

Opening Day age: 28

Contract status: Under contract through the 2016 season

Minor-league options remaining: One

2014 stats (with San Diego): .232/.272/.300, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 36 R, 18 SB, 391 PA

Why to be impressed: Before the Biogenesis scandal in 2013, Cabrera was in the midst of a superb season in which he posted a .736 on-base plus slugging percentage and was named to his first All-Star Game. Cabrera has stolen 99 bases in 300 games over the last three seasons, bringing some much-needed speed to the Baltimore roster for the 2015 season.

Why to be concerned: Beyond the 50-game suspension in 2013, Cabrera has dealt with a number of injuries and was limited to just 90 games a year ago. When he did play, the switch-hitting infielder posted an anemic .572 OPS and collected only 17 extra-base hits in 391 plate appearances. Manager Buck Showalter would like to see the veteran shortstop become a utility player, but he has all of 12 career games at second base and just one at third base.

2015 outlook: With J.J. Hardy expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list, Cabrera is now all but guaranteed to make the 25-man roster and should have an opportunity to see time at shortstop along with Ryan Flaherty. His speed and defense can be assets to the roster, but he will need to show he’s more like the player he was in 2013 than last year in order to stick on the roster once Hardy returns. If he’s healthy, a .640 OPS seems reasonable along with 15 stolen bases in a part-time role.