2010 in Review: Shortstop

Posts in this series:

Team Offense Team Pitching
Team Defense
Catcher First Base Second Base
Shortstop Third Base Designated Hitter
Left Field Center Field Right Field
Starting Pitching Relief Pitching

 

 

Part I: Review

2010 Overview

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.

Defense

Here's Fangraphs' defensive numbers for the position:

 

Name Pos Inn DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150
Asdrubal Cabrera SS 825 1.3 -8.6 -0.4 -7.7 -13.4
Jason Donald SS 388 -1.2 -6.1 -1.3 -8.7 -22.7
Anderson Hernandez SS 127 -0.4 -3 1.1 -2.2 -22.4
Drew Sutton SS 50 -0.5 1.3 0.4 1.2 46.7
Luis Valbuena SS 42 0.3 -1.2 -2.5 -3.4 -90.4

 

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.

Offense

The Indians' shortstops ranked in the middle of the pack on offense:

Rk PA AB 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+ 6
1 TOR 690 635 34 1 25 40 104 .265 .312 .439 .751 .281 97 115
2 BOS 749 675 40 0 16 61 88 .273 .334 .403 .737 .292 88 112
3 CHW 659 615 29 3 18 28 84 .278 .308 .423 .731 .294 94 110
4 NYY 768 689 28 3 10 65 111 .269 .338 .361 .699 .306 79 102
5 MIN 629 568 30 4 7 47 96 .268 .321 .371 .692 .309 82 100
6 KCR 640 605 30 2 17 26 68 .261 .291 .402 .693 .269 89 99
7 OAK 629 558 29 8 7 52 103 .251 .317 .369 .686 .295 96 98
8 CLE 691 620 31 3 6 47 114 .266 .323 .355 .678 .316 94 96
9 TBR 672 599 30 4 6 53 117 .252 .318 .346 .663 .303 81 92
10 TEX 745 652 17 3 0 69 108 .264 .339 .299 .638 .316 72 86
11 DET 638 573 23 1 9 43 97 .246 .301 .337 .638 .279 71 84
12 LAA 695 631 21 4 6 39 108 .239 .291 .314 .605 .279 74 75
13 SEA 592 547 23 3 2 23 110 .230 .276 .294 .570 .282 79 65
14 BAL 598 556 15 1 1 27 69 .236 .277 .272 .549 .266 58 60
TOT 9395 8523 380 40 130 620 1377 .258 .312 .357 .669 .292 83 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/20/2010.

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:

 

Rk G PA ▾ AB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1 Asdrubal Cabrera 94 423 379 16 1 3 29 25 60 .274 .325 .346 .671 .317 100 94
2 Jason Donald 47 169 153 10 2 2 16 11 33 .255 .313 .386 .699 .314 102 101
3 Anderson Hernandez 15 55 53 3 0 0 2 2 7 .264 .291 .321 .612 .304 122 77
4 Drew Sutton 7 24 22 1 0 1 3 2 7 .273 .333 .455 .788 .357 112 126
5 Luis Valbuena 5 20 13 1 0 0 2 7 7 .154 .450 .231 .681 .333 154 103
Team Total 162 691 620 31 3 6 52 47 114 .266 .323 .355 .678 .316 94 96
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/21/2010.

 

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.

Returning

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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