“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.