The idea of Asdrubal Cabrera batting cleanup would have been a perfectly good one two years ago when the shortstop hit 25 home runs and owned a 119 weighted runs created plus (wRC+). In fact, it would have worked last year when Cabrera's home runs dipped to 16 but his wRC+ stayed solid at 113.
This year, however, Cabrera's .293 on-base percentage, 93 wRC+, and general defensive deficiencies have him looking more like a replacement-level player than an All-Star. What happened, you ask?
His plate discipline disappeared.
Now, be warned that this post is going to skew heavily toward the numbers. So get out now if you want. Actually no, don't. *locks door* Well, looks like you're all staying here with me. Onward then.
After striking out around 17 percent of the time in 2011 and 2012, Cabrera's strikeout rate has jumped to 22 percent in 2013. Paired with his walk rate falling below six percent, the shortstop just is not taking the same approach to the plate as he did when he was turning h...