It took nearly a week to go from reported as done to officially done, but the Indians have finally announced their one-year deal with Orlando Cabrera.
He’ll get $1 million in guaranteed money, plus various incentives, and will compete for the starting job at second base with Jason Donald and Luis Valbuena.
I’ve seen quite a few people tout this as a nice pickup for the Indians simply because Cabrera is a veteran, but it’s tough to see him really helping much on the field at this point.
He diminished range should be less of a problem at second base than it was at shortstop, but Cabrera is 36 years old and hit just .263 with a .303 on-base percentage and .354 slugging percentage last season. Among all the second basemen to get at least 400 plate appearances in 2010 only Aaron Hill had a lower OBP and only Ryan Theriot, Chone Figgins, and David Eckstein had a lower OPS.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.