Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera did something pretty unusual today in a loss to the Giants; he became the first player since the White Sox’s Lou Frazier in 1998 to steal four bases without recording a hit.
Cabrera walked twice and stole second and third each time. He scored on a Hector Sanchez throwing error on the second steal of third.
Cabrera now leads the NL with 41 steals. He’s also been caught just three times. Despite all of the talk about how speed is supposed to rule the game again, it’s been a poor year for steals in the NL. Michael Bourn is second in the league with 40 steals in 52 tries. Shane Victorino has 39 steals. Cabrera’s total will be the lowest total to lead either league since Alfonso Soriano topped the AL with 41 steals in 2002. It’ll be the lowest total to lead the NL since Craig Biggio had 39 in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Apart from that, the NL leader has had at least 45 steals every year since 1963.
As for Cabrera’s feat today, he became the 8th different player since 1918 to have four steals without a hit. Vince Coleman did it three times and Rickey Henderson twice, so it’s been done 11 times in all.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.