Phillies trade for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, sending Mets Double-A pitcher
Cabrera helps shore up Philly's thin infield
Cabrera, 32, is hitting .277/.329/.488 (124 OPS+) with 23 doubles, 18 homers, 58 RBI and 48 runs this season. In many ways, this is the best offensive season of his career. He's played mostly shortstop in his career, but can also handle second or third base.
In all likelihood, the Phillies want him for short. Maikel Franco is on fire right now and needs to stay in the everyday lineup at third base. Cesar Hernandez is pretty well entrenched at second base, too.
At shortstop, it's mostly been a combination of youngsters J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery. Phillies shortstops have been a black hole offensively this season, slashing .232/.279/.348. Cabrera obviously represents a significant upgrade on offense.
Defense, however, might be an issue. Cabrera hasn't had great range in a while and he's now north of 30 years old. Last season, in just 386 innings at shortstop, he posted a negative-8 in defensive runs saved.
Then again, Kingery is at negative-5 in the same stat this season in 608 innings, so it's not like starting Cabrera means they are taking a big step back. It's just not likely an improvement on defense. They'll gladly take the offense, though.
Additionally, Cabrera is a switch hitter, so he'll easily slide somewhere into the lineup for manager Gabe Kapler.
The Phillies enter Friday with a 2 1/2-game lead in the NL East.
As for the return, Kilome, 23, is in Double-A. For the Reading Fightin' Phils this season, he was 4-6 with a 4.24 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 102 innings. Walks have been an issue, as he's offered up 51.
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