Posts in this series:
|Catcher||First Base||Second Base|
|Shortstop||Third Base||Designated Hitter|
|Left Field||Center Field||Right Field|
|Starting Pitching||Relief Pitching|
Part I: Review
Asdrubal Cabrera broke his arm on May 17th and missed two months. The Indians had all kinds of trouble finding a decent defensive replacement, as Jason Donald was playing out of position and Luis Valbuena was barely viable on both offense and defense when he played there. When Cabrera came back, the defense didn't get much better.
Here's Fangraphs' defensive numbers for the position:
The three players who logged the most innings were all poor with the glove, according to UZR. I thought Cabrera was pretty good in 2009 but slipped this season; UZR from 2009 for Cabrera was -4.8 (bizarrely, it had Peralta as having much better range). Cabrera wasn't in very good shape coming into this season, and probably the main reason why he didn't receive a long-term contract offer. His bat still looks good, but he's going to have to improve on the defensive end, or his viability at the position is going to come into question.
Jason Donald was the main substitute for Cabrera while he was out, but he just didn't look comfortable playing the position. Drew Sutton, who they picked up off waivers in August, was the only player of this bunch who looked good at the position. The Indians essentially had a bunch of second basemen around the infield, and it showed.
The Indians' shortstops ranked in the middle of the pack on offense:
Only three clubs had their shortstops top a .700 OPS, but a .700 OPS was good enough to rank as above-average among all hitters. Two years ago, a .700 OPS would equate to an OPS+ in the mid-80s. So adjust your standards accordingly.
Here's how the Tribe shortstops did individually:
Asdrubal Cabrera took a major step backward in his offensive game. Jason Donald filled in nicely during Cabrera's absence, so the team didn't see any drop off from what they had, but the Indians were expecting the offense to be a positional advantage, much like center field. Cabrera's slugging especially dropped off, from .438 in 2009 to .346 this season.
Part II: Looking Towards 2011
Not Coming Back
Anderson Hernandez (Claimed off Waivers, 7-21-2010)
The Indians essentially swapped Hernandez out for Drew Sutton in late July. Anderson finished the season with the Houston, and is a free agent after refusing outright assignment by the Astros.
Asdrubal Cabrera (1st Year Arbitration) - 2 Option Years Remaining
The Indians don't really have a Plan B at shortstop, so they need Cabrera to come to Arizona next spring in shape to play shortstop and be one of the team's main run producers. Cabrera picked a really bad time to have a bad year, as he's heading into arbitration with the Indians presumably in no mood to pursue a multi-year contract.
Jason Donald (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining
Luis Valbuena (Pre-Arbitration) - 1 Option Year Remaining
Neither of these guys should be playing much shortstop if the Indians can help it. Donald should be in the mix for the starting second base job next season, while Valbuena seems ticketed for Columbus.
Drew Sutton (Pre-Arbitration) - No Option Years Remaining
I think the Indians might keep Sutton on the roster through the winter. He looked good enough defensively at shortstop to get a look as a utility infielder.