It looks like the Padres' shortstop position is about to be upgraded. Luis Rodriguez seems to have finished his rehab stint (4-14 with a homer in four games at Lake Elsinore). But perhaps there's some bigger news. Everth Cabrera, the 22-year-old who is expected to be the Padres' starting shortstop before the end of the season, is on fire.
Like Rodriguez, Cabrera has also finsished his Lake Elsinore assignment. In seven games, he went 9-23 with four RBIs and seven runs. That was good for a .391 avg, .500 OB% and 1.022 OPS. Then Thursday, in his first game after being bumped up two levels to triple-A Portland, he went 2-4 with a stolen base.
Obviously, when he's forced back on the major league roster due to his Rule 5 draftee status, he's not going to continue producing like he has for the past week-and-a-half. But think about what he's done. He spent six weeks letting a broken hand heal, sitting in the Padres' dugout and watching a whole lot of crappy at-bats in a whole lot of losses. He should be ice cold, but he picks up a bat and swings it like he's never done before. Last year for the Rockies' low single-A club in Asheville, Cabrera managed to bat .284. So where did the .391 come from followed up by two hits in triple-A?
By way of comparison, Cliff Floyd also rehabbed in Lake Elsinore for seven games, going 4-21 (.190).
Where ever Cabrera found his bat, he seems to have lost his legs. He was caught stealing three times while with Lake Elsinore (he also succeeded on four other tries). That's an embarrassing stat for last year's pro baseball stolen base leader. In 2008, Cabrera stole 73 bases while getting nabbed 16 times.
He's not eligible to come off the DL until Friday, June 19, when the Padres host the Oakland A's for the first of three games. And, perhaps, when we'll be saying sayonara to Josh Wilson and his .100 batting average.