Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp
Cabrera is a good fielder - at least when he can get to a ball. He makes most of the routine plays. At one time or another, he got to quite a few balls. But those days are long gone.
According to Fangraphs, here are the plays made outside of the designated zones that shortstops are expected to make plays more than 50% of the time (by qualified shortstop)...
1. Stephen Drew (27 out of zone plays)
2. Erick Aybar (26)
3. Alex Gonzalez (25)
4. Marco Scutaro (24)
5. Ronny Cedeno (23)
21. J.J.Hardy (12)
22. Cliff Pennington (9)
23. Orlando Cabrera (7)
That's the list. Cabrera is dead last among qualified shortstops in making plays out of the 'routine' zones. Not only is he last, but it's by a remarkably wide margin.
Cabrera's range is as bad as they say it is. Is he a bad fielder? No - and that's not been the crux of the debate. But his range leaves a whole lot to be desired.
I can't disagree with any of this. His first week in the field was absolutely brutal. I was nervous about him this year. Since then he has been A-okay with me defensively (aside from that 2nd inning last night, Geez OC).