24-year old switch hitting Asdrubal Cabrera started the 2009 season as the starting 2B before he was moved to shortstop where he has found a new permanent home. Cabrera played in 131 games for the Indians last season and he was 161 for 523 (.308 avg, .799 OPS) with 81 runs scored, 6 homers, 68 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Cabrera is a natural shortstop so he’s good defensively there. He played in 100 games at SS for the Indians in 2009 and he made 9 errors while showing above average range. The Indians will benefit from having Cabrera at shortstop since day #1 in 2010 as he is a huge improvement defensively over Jhonny Peralta.
29-year old switch hitting Luis Rodriguez will battle 27-year old righty swinging Brian Bixler for the backup job at SS in 2010. Rodriguez played in 34 games for the Padres last season at SS and he made 3 errors while showing below average range. His versatility probably gives him an edge over Bixler because he can also play 2B and 3B.
Brian Bixler played in 18 games for the Pirates last season and he was 10 for 44 (.227 avg, .602 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He also played in 108 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 110 for 403 (.273 avg, .778 OPS) with 71 runs scored, 9 homers, 43 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Bixler probably won’t be much of a hitter in the majors but he has a good reputation with the mitt. He made 2 errors in 10 games at SS for the Pirates last season while showing above average range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE SS IN 2010: B