August 11 – Happy Birthday Melky Cabrera
Melky made a refreshing impression on Yankee fans when he came to the Bronx for his rookie season, in 2006. During the previous very successful ten years, we pinstripe rooters had gotten use to watching highly paid veterans skillfully but also very somberly get their team to the postseason. Then all of a sudden, there was Cabrera in center field and his Latino compadre, Robinson Cano at second base. The young duo added some badly needed enthusiasm to the Yankee roster and it rubbed off on some of their more reserved veteran teammates.
The only problem was Melky’s play never seemed to get better with age or experience. In fact he seemed to regress, especially at the plate where his inability to take bad pitches, especially in clutch situations, seemed to get worse and worse. Finally, even his biggest booster, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi realized Cabrera wasn’t helping the team win and Melky was sent back down to the minors in 2008. The demotion served him well as did the competition he was in during New York’s 2009 spring training with Brett Gardner for playing time in center field. Yankee fans realized the free-swinging switch-hitter would never be another Mickey Mantle or even another Bernie Williams but a Melky Cabrera at the top of his game did just fine on that 2009 Yankee team, hitting .274 and driving in 68 runs. The switch to Curtis Granderson as the Yankee’s starting center fielder has certainly turned out for the best but I got to admit that every once in a while, I do miss good old Melky. He struggled quite a bit trying to get comfortable in the National League with the Braves in 2010. He’s played much better back in the AL with the Royals in 2011 and was having a career year in 2012 as a member of the San Francisco Giants when in August of that year he shocked all of baseball by getting suspended for 50 games for testing positive for PEDs. Though he has come back from that nightmare with decent performances, its become pretty clear his growth as a player has leveed off. He turns 31 years old today. Melky shares his birthday with his former Yankee teammate and this one-time Yankee pitcher.
|NYY (5 yrs)||569||2148||1923||250||518||90||12||36||228||44||171||246||.269||.331||.385||.716|
|TOR (2 yrs)||227||993||912||120||267||50||5||19||103||8||66||114||.293||.340||.421||.761|
|KCR (1 yr)||155||706||658||102||201||44||5||18||87||20||35||94||.305||.339||.470||.809|
|SFG (1 yr)||113||501||459||84||159||25||10||11||60||13||36||63||.346||.390||.516||.906|
|ATL (1 yr)||147||509||458||50||117||27||3||4||42||7||42||64||.255||.317||.354||.671|
|CHW (1 yr)||118||506||466||53||128||27||2||8||59||1||29||67||.275||.315||.393||.708|