It was announced this past week that Cord Phelps was being called up from Columbus, and that he would take most of the playing time at second away from Orlando Cabrera. O-Cab handled it well and was up to the challenge of regaining his spot.
Since being called up, Phelps is 1-14 in four games. It is too early to get to over analyze his performance, but Acta needs to find guys who can drive in runs. Phelps will begin to hit eventually, but at a time when the Indians are fighting for the division, it is best to let him play sparingly, until he begins to produce.
Prior to last night’s game, Cabrera was struggling in the month of June. He was only 5 for 33 with one RBI. This was the main reason that Cord Phelps was called up in the first place. Manny Acta was looking for production in a lineup full of players who began to go into slumps. When told of his benching, Cabrera took it all in stride. He is a veteran player who understands his role with the team. He is ready to start everyday, but he is also readily available to help younger players find their way, even if they are taking his spot.
Cabrera proved that he is the guy who should be at second, at least for now, with a three hit performance last night in Detroit. His three hits brought in 3 runs and he came around to score once. Those three runs turned out to be the difference in the 6-4 game.
Every player on the Indians needs to realize that they can be replaced if they do not do well. Cabrera found this out and quickly improved his play. A sense of urgency must be felt before it is too late, and the team is too far out of first to contend in September.