When the 2013 MLB season was getting set to start, perhaps the last guy anyone would have figured to be playing in the All-Star game would have been Everth Cabrera.
But here he is, representing the San Diego Padres for the National League in the All-Star game on July 16. Last season, Cabrera ended up hitting .246 as a left-hander and .195 as a right-hander. It wasn’t a good season as a switch-hitter. The last thing Padre fans might have expected was for Cabrera to flirt with the .300 mark this season.
To Cabrera’s credit, he worked his tail off during the offseason and it appears to have paid huge dividends. The San Diego shortstop has been batting .300 and had an on-base percentage of .376 prior to Saturday’s action. He’s been leading the National League in steals with 31 despite missing more than two weeks of action due to a hamstring injury.
The Padre shortstop is hitting so well that he might become only the fifth middle infielder in San Diego history to hit .300 or better the first half of the season. The Padres obviously need him to stay healthy to remain a factor in the NL West.
San Diego fans haven’t had much to cheer about lately as their team has fallen to a 40-48 record and is in danger of putting itself out of the pennant chase by the end of this month if the Padres don’t turn things around. But if Cabrera can stay healthy and if other Padres get back on track, it could be an interesting second half of the season.