Mark Reynolds And Asdrubal Cabrera: What To Make Of The Club In Cleveland
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Wednesday May 15th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
The Cleveland Indians are off to a hot start, sitting just one game back of the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central. In their last 10 (through Tuesday) they are 7 – 3. Most of this is due to Mark Reynolds.
So far this year, he is hitting .272 with 11 HRs and 32 RBI. This puts him on pace to hit 50 HRs and drive in close to 15o Runs. Of course, there is no way that he drives in 151 runs, but I think it is possible that he could hit 40+ HRs.
He would have to stay hot the entire season and not get injured, so I would say there is about a three percent chance that he does so. His career highs in HRs and RBI came in 2009 when he hit 44 and drove in 102.
With the Indians lineup the way it is with Jason Kipnis (whom I will talk about later), Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher hitting in front of him, it seems like Reynolds will have plenty of RBI chances.
Reynolds is also on pace to strike out about 176 times, which is a little bit lower than his career average. Needless to say, if he keeps up his current performance throughout the entire season, he will be the MVP (although I would not count Miguel Cabrera out just yet with the season he is having thus far).
Currently, Asdrubal Cabrera is slotted in the three-hole of the lineup. At the beginning of the season he was hitting two while Kipnis was hitting three, but the early season struggles of the two middle infielders constituted a swap in the lineup.
Like Kipnis, Cabrera struggled mightily at the beginning of the season and has just recently started to recover his average, now hitting .231 after a raising his average with a decent last month. The way he is playing now makes him look like a good trade candidate should the Indians start slipping.
If the Indians continue playing the way that they are, there is no reason to trade their shortstop. But if they do fall in the standings, I could see Cabrera going to a number of different teams.
One team that immediately comes to mind is the Dodgers. Hanley Ramirez is currently out with a hamstring injury and will be back in four to six weeks, and when he comes back he will play short.
The Dodgers’ Third Base options are not the best, so down the stretch I could see Hanley moving to third and the Dodgers bringing in Cabrera.
The Dodgers have Dee Gordon to play short, but he offers very little power and a low average. He has a lot of speed, which is useless unless he can get on base.
Another team that I could see with a strong need for a shortstop is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are currently playing with a platoon of Robert Andino and Brendan Ryan at short. Sure, the Mariners are getting great defense from the two, but what the team really needs is run support for the pitchers.
Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez are enough to get the Mariners into contention, but for the two pitchers to be successful, they will need a little more offensively than Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino. Cabrera’s contract is up in 2014, so whichever team gets him will have him for another full season.
The season looks bright for the Cleveland Indians with the lineup producing and the pitching doing well. If all goes to plan, we could see two teams from the AL Central playing in October.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter. Follow @BernieOlshansky
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Posted on May 15, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bernieolshansky on twitter, al central, American league, asdrubal cabrera, baseball, bernie olshansky, brandan ryan, cleveland indians, dee gordon, felix hernandez, hanley ramirez, hisashi iwakuma, hitting, jason kipnis, la dodgers, lineup, los angeles dodgers, mark reynolds, miguel cabrera, national league, nick swisher, nl west, robert andino, seattle mariners, trades. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.