Orlando Cabrera: A Finger In a Collapsing Dam

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer IAugust 4, 2009

Some problems are too big for one man to solve. Some men are too small to solve a big problem.

For Minnesota Twins fans, it is clear that there is a problem with their baseball team, and it's a big one.

Not the kind of problem a miniature fire extinguisher could put out, mind you, but a flame that requires multiple water hoses.

Orlando Cabrera is a miniature fire extinguisher. Helpful?

In a small sense, but not on a large scale.

Aaron Gleeman put it best in his most recent blog entry:

"Trading for two months of a thoroughly mediocre Cabrera and sticking his measly .322 career on-base percentage in front of Mauer and Morneau is like handing someone trapped in the desert one glass of water and then walking away. Better than nothing? Absolutely. Doing something that you can point to as improving the situation? Sure. But in the grand scheme of things, useless. One glass of water won't get anyone out of a desert and one mediocre shortstop won't get the Twins ... well, anything."


This "glass of water" could morph into monsoon rains, but the likelihood of that happening is dim. After all, just like Gleeman said, Cabrera is nothing more than a mediocre shortstop with a "rapidly deteriorating" glove.

Without the pleas for help from the three biggest names on the Minnesota roster—Mauer, Morneau, Nathan—there is every reason to believe that the Twins would have stood pat at the deadline and played with the cards dealt to them for the final months of the season.

After all, why deviate from the modus operandi established long before Bill Smith took the reigns?

Cabrera is 3-8 with a walk and a strikeout through his first two games as a Twin. Small sample size? Very much so. An impressive start? Hardly.

All Cabrera gives Minnesota offensively is another player with a career sub-.400 on-base-percentage for Gardenhire to shove into the two-hole in the lineup. It takes a special batter to fit perfectly in the second position of a lineup, and Cabrera doesn't fit that mold. That doesn't mean Gardenhire won't make him fit though.

The Twins need much more than a quality second-batter to stay in contention in their division. They need solidification in both their bullpen and starting rotation as well. A timely trade could do the trick, or the Twins could dive biack into their minor-league system.

The class of the rest of the division has gone up, and the Twins have some work to do to catch up.

So, once again, some problems are too big for one man to solve. Without help, that is.