Asdrubal Cabrera viable option for bench

By Ryan Ritchey

As the offseason begins for the 98-win Los Angeles Angels, so do the decisions that have to be made for the 2015 roster. One thing in particular that needs assessing is the depth in the infield. General Manager Jerry Dipoto mentioned earlier this week that “the bench and designated hitter are a focus of the offseason”. Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick are both signed through the 2015 season, but the Angels need someone that can play valuable innings if need be. One of the options could be Asdrubal Cabrera.

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Cabrera is a free agent after the World Series, after splitting time in Cleveland and Washington in 2014. He is no longer the offensive threat that he once was, so a bench role might be good for him. He plays great defense and hits from both sides of the plate. He played both shortstop and second base in Washington, getting most of the innings at second base in the playoffs. Depending on what direction the Nationals decide to go with Cabrera he could be a great option.

In 146 games, the most he has played since 2010, he hit .241/.307/.387. Those numbers are low for him, but in a much more limited role, he could be a good platoon player. I’m not saying that either Kendrick or Aybar will be platoon players in 2015, because I know they won’t be, but bringing him off the bench against the bullpen could be a good option.

Playing Cabrera late in the game as a defensive replacement is also a possibility. Erick Aybar was a below average fielder for the second season in a row and putting Cabrera in the game late could help the club overall. Cabrera was just above average, but it is a better option for Mike Scioscia to go to in the late innings, needing good defense on the infield.

This comes into play more when Huston Street is on the mound as a sinker baller. You want the best infield defense possible to prevent ground balls from getting through and Cabrera can bring that to a team like the Angels. He is past him prime, but like I said, in a limited role off the bench, he could be valuable.