Impossible shoes. 36 comments


“I don’t think I am even close to being Adrian Beltre,” Asdrubal Cabrera noted when talking about his amazing diving play in yesterday’s Cactus League game.

Cabrera may have the worst job in baseball this year. He gets to replace a legend.

For his sake, let’s hope he isn’t hounded by comparisons to Beltre all year. It’s not fair. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone.

Cabrera has had a good career in his own right. An All Star twice. Once landing in the top twenty in MVP voting. He batted over .300 one year. Drove in more than 90 one year.

He wasn’t even supposed to start yesterday’s game. Of the 1,529 major league games Cabrera has appeared in, he’s played third just 67 times. Of course, new manager Chris Woodward was well aware of that, and had planned to ease Cabrera into the role by letting him work on the position on a back field, out of the limelight.

But Cabrera wanted none of that. He wanted game action. He wanted to get in there and do it. And he did a nice job of it.

Aside from the 67 games Cabrera has played at third, he’s also played 334 games at second, and 1,078 games at short.

But this season, the thirty-three-year old Venezuelan native will be playing his toughest position ever: Adrian Beltre’s following act.

Good luck.

  • CrazyEd

    I don’t know if this is behind their “pay wall” or not (I’m not going to clear all my cookies to find out) so a very very very brief summary. MLB and the independent Atlantic League are collaborating on testing Robo-Umps for calling balls and strikes as well as moving the mound back. Here’s the link:

    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/atlantic-league-expected-to-add-robo-umps-other-changes-from-new-mlb-agreement/

    • JacobMcCandles

      It would be the day I stop watching BB. Have they not embraced that the bulk of changes they have implemented are failed……

      • CrazyEd

        Just those two changes would have a huge impact on the game. The computerised balls and strikes are one thing, but moving the mound back has implications beyond the obvious. It would potentially completely change the careers of a number of pitchers. Change fast balls into below average offerings and bring in an era of junk ballers.

        • Nathan Whitten

          As you say, balls and strikes by computer is a totally different issue than moving the mound. Tennis didn’t fall apart when computers became line judges. The main official is still in charge. The calls are correct. Same thing in NFL regarding in bounds or not. TD or not. I don’t see why doing the same in baseball regarding balls and strikes would change the game–except in a good way. Now when I was a wee lad, MLB did monkey around with the height of the mound. Can you imaging an already intimidating Bob Gibson staring down at you from a mound 6 inches higher? Players dealt with it, in a manner of speaking. They struck out a bunch. Some were happy to foul off a ball. His ERA was about 1.000. Hence it was lowered. Had they moved it back 6 feet, that would have completely changed things. So, that’s out, in my book. I don’t even see why it is being considered.

          • CrazyEd

            There would be more offence for sure. The games would be longer. Stolen bases would become much more common, batting averages would sky rocket, etc. The more I think of it, the crazier it gets.

          • JacobMcCandles

            As in all sports, most changes are made to manipulate more points and ease of scoring. A lot of times it is stated to bring more of the casual fans to the game. Starting with lowering the mound, DH, etc….Me, I am different I get more excited by the well pitched game, the guy getting thrown out at the plate. I like all around BB not some of the silliness they have put into place or are trying too.

  • CrazyEd

    Kevin, the comparison has already started. The announcers yesterday did it. Luckily Cabrera has been around long enough so it will probably just roll off of him.

    • Nathan Whitten

      I think so, too.

  • Nathan Whitten

    No one possessing a brain expects Cabrera to be a Beltre clone. Even if the Rangers had signed the best available player, the player would not be Beltre. That said, last year was not a good one for Beltre. He was hurt much of the season. His bat was not what it had been, nor was his play in the field. We only saw glimpses of the greatness that will put him in the Hall of Fame. So, Cabrera is not replacing the Beltre of 2011-2017.In 2019, he is replacing all those who played 3B for Texas in 2018. That would be the shell of what Beltre was, Profar, and whomever else may have been out there a couple of times. Looking at it from this perspective, Cabrera could be an improvement at 3B for the Rangers. He is right about needing all the time he can get this spring. That encourages me. He has talent. He needs experience. Now is the time to get all he can get. If he can replace the offensive numbers put up by Rangers’ 3B last year and be at least as good as Profar in the field, I’d say that he did all we could hope for. I don’t think that those rather modest goals are unreachable; they may be beatable. Comparing him to Beltre in his prime is pointless. Arguably, no one in MLB right now could do that. Comparing him to Rangers’ 3B of last year is all that is truly relevant. I am optimistic about how that shakes out.

    • SABERMETRICS MASTER

      Cabrera is replacing Profar.

      If Profar hits .300+ with 20+ HRs, we still need to compare his performance to the performance of everyone we got for him on this trade.

      Cabrera is a very efficient baseball player. He was a good pick in lieu of Profar’s trade IMHO.

      • Nathan Whitten

        Yes, you are correct. Profar was to be THE 3B for Texas. Instead, he might be the SS of a better team, the A’s. Cabrera replaces him. I think he was decent choice. I agree with you 98%. I’m not sure “good” is the right adjective, but that’s just semantics.

        I know very little about Sabermetrics, but I am a mathematician, with quite a bit of statistics along the way to an MS + 36 more graduate hours in math. I would be very interested to learn, if you care to share some of your expertise. I do get the idea of replacing numbers. It is not done on an individual level. You look at a collective result, as I understand it.

        • SABERMETRICS MASTER

          LOL

          I know as much Sabermetrics as my wife know a about Manufacturing.

          The nickname came a few years ago as an expression of sarcasm.

          Most people here know me as Mr. C

  • calntom

    Looks like Hamels and Volquez to get things cookin’ today
    Addendum: And much of your opening day lineup is featured

  • Tony Howell

    If the Rangers want to compete better find someone at some position to replace Beltre’s numbers. Astros,Yankees,Sox etc all have a couple and not all home grown sometimes you have to buy them.

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER

    Hamel va Rangers today
    4-0 Cubs after Volquez 1st inning.

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER

    I don’t like Contreras!

    He is too good of a catcher.

    • dearmidol

      Just made it 6-0.

  • CrazyEd

    Ho-hum ……….

  • SABERMETRICS MASTER

    It’s just Spring Training

    • JacobMcCandles

      Always next year!!! LOL

      • SABERMETRICS MASTER

        At least we have Elvis for years to come.

        • dearmidol

          Unless he opts out at the end of this season.

          • SABERMETRICS MASTER

            He can’t be that stupid

          • dearmidol

            That doesn’t matter. His agent is Scott Boras.

        • calntom

          I have heard EA is pretty good

          • SABERMETRICS MASTER

            You got to be kidding me !!!!

            Elvis is FANTASTIC

  • CrazyEd

    Well, the woke me up.

  • CrazyEd
  • CrazyEd
    • dearmidol

      Always a class act.

    • GoRangers23

      Awesome!

  • calntom

    Ranger pitchers only gave up 1 walk today. Ranger hitters only took 1 walk.

    • dearmidol

      That was Gallo.

  • JacobMcCandles

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGHU_FmDN38

    One of the sports Dallas figures on Rushmore!!