The Cleveland Indians will have an open battle at 2B this spring between 36-year old Orlando Cabrera, 26-year old Jason Donald and 25-year old Luis Valbuena. The righty swinging Cabrera will have his name at the top of the depth chart written in pencil. He played in 123 games for the Reds last season and he was 130 of 494 (.263 avg, .657 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 4 homers, 42 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. If Cabrera wins the starting job at 2B, I see him hitting around .270 with 8-12 homers and around 15 stolen bases as I think he still has some gas left in the tank. He played in 121 games at SS for the Reds last season and he had 11 errors while showing below average range. His range should be masked at 2B and he has won 2 Gold Gloves (at SS) in his major league career.
25-year old Luis Valbuena looked like the Tribe’s answer at 2B as he finished 2009 strong. But, his bat completely disappeared last season. Valbuena played in 91 games for the Indians last season and he was 53 of 275 (.193 avg, .531 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 2 homers, 24 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He’s a better hitter than that but he will have to rebound this spring or he will be starting the season in AAA-ball. He made 4 errors in 71 games at 2B for the Tribe last season while showing out of this world range. He is a outstanding defensive 2B.
26-year old righty swinging Jason Donald replaced the slumping Valbuena at 2B last season and he was o.k. in his first taste of the majors. Donald played in 88 games for the Indians last season and he was 75 of 296 (.253 avg, .690 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 4 homers, 24 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Donald could probably hit around .270 if he got to play everyday. Donald had 3 errors in 41 games at 2B while showing good range. Donald has a good shot of winning a backup job this spring if he doesn’t win the starting job at 2B as he can handle SS and 3B defensively. Lee has been the most impressive player out of the Cliff Lee trade with the Phillies so far.
34-year old righty swinging Adam Everett will try to win a bench job with the Indians this spring. He’s a banjo hitter but a solid gloveman. He had 1 error in 31 games at SS for the Tigers lat season while showing good range.
28-year old righty swinging Jayson Nix will likely be the starting 3B for the Indians when the 2011 season starts, but, 2B is his best position defensively. Nix played error-free in 28 games at 2B last season while showing outstanding range there.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE INDIANS 2B IN 2011: C