Cincinnati Reds made big mistake with Asdrubal Cabrera signing

When the Cincinnati Reds acquired infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 27, they were hoping he would inject some life into their offense. However, he has done just the opposite.

Prior to being placed on waivers by the last-place Diamondbacks, the 35-year-old Cabrera was batting .244 and logging a .324 on-base percentage in 90 games. While the numbers were not outstanding, Cincinnati manager David Bell raved about the possibilities of what Cabrera could mean to the Reds as they chased a spot in the postseason.

“We’ve seen him play a lot over the years, he’s just a good, solid baseball player. Great at-bats, both sides of the plate,” Bell was quoted as saying in this article. “I think he’ll really strengthen our bench. He’ll get opportunities to start games, of course, mainly playing the corners.”

Unfortunately for the Cincinnati Reds, in the opportunities Asdrubal Cabrera has been given, he has floundered.

In the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with two men on base and two outs in the inning, Cabrera was called upon as a pinch hitter. He struck out on five pitches, running his total at the plate this season with the Reds to 0-for-20 with six strikeouts. He has walked just one time.

Cabrera entered Tuesday’s game as a lifetime .266 hitter during his 15 MLB seasons with eight different teams. He’s only hit over .300 in a season once, when he was as a member of the 2009 Cleveland Indians. Certainly he has put together some good streaks, including as recently as with the 2019 Washington Nationals when he posted a slash line of .308/.361/.438 to help his team win the World Series. But those numbers were in just 124 at-bats, and he went just 7-for-30 in Washington’s postseason run.

Cincinnati’s Wild Card chances are on life support, and to give more at-bats to Cabrera simply doesn’t make sense. The Reds need to pull the plug on the Cabrera experiment before it does them any more damage.