Orlando Cabrera arrived in Minneapolis last Saturday after the Minnesota Twins made a deadline deal in an attempt to help shore up their middle infield and add production from the second spot in the lineup. Since his arrival Cabrera has without a doubt been a productive player. The veteran shortstop has went 10-20 at the plate in five games to give him a .500 batting average since his arrival, and he’s made several professional plays in the field.
The offense and defense are two things the team knew they had the chance of receiving when Cabrera was acquired, but there is one other thing that Cabrera carries – leadership. From the first time Cabrera stepped foot on the Metrodome turf, it was easy to tell the type of person he was away from the batter’s box.
After Cabrera grounded out to second base in his first at-bat as a Twin, he went to the dugout and let everybody know what the pitcher was trying to do. The next time up, Cabrera took a nearly identical pitch down the right field line for a double.
Veteran leadership is one quality that Cabrera carries, so too is his mentorship. From his first inning as a Twin through his 45th, Cabrera has been seen time and time again sitting and talking with youngster Carlos Gomez. The mentorship has paid off.
Gomez has gone 4-15 in four games since Cabrera’s arrival to give him a .267 average in the near-handful of games. The 23-year old speedster has shown more confidence, hit pitches he didn’t earlier in the season, and continued to make strong plays in centerfield.
If the Twins are playing meaningful baseball come October, Cabrera could be a key factor. His leadership and ability to communicate with young players such as Gomez however could have an impact on the many seasons ahead.