Looks like Cabrera is turning some heads. There's a frontpage Scott Miller article on him up at Sportsline.com.
Some tidbits:"He's got one of the most overpowering fastballs around," says Detroit slugger Gary Sheffield, who was in the Yankees' lineup and went 0-for-3 the night of Cabrera's near-miss. "And when you're that tall, it makes it that much more quicker and deceptive, like Randy Johnson.
"When he has all of his pitches working, he's one of the toughest pitchers to hit."[Cabrera] owns a DVD copy of that Yankee Stadium [near no-hitter], and he watches it "all the time to make sure that I'm doing the same thing."
"That was one of the greatest moments in my life, you know," he continues. "Not too many pitchers get that close to throwing that kind of game."Mazzone sees a different Cabrera this spring, one that has become heart-attack-serious about getting his work in and paying attention to the small details. He also sees a consistency in Cabrera's side work that wasn't there before. Not to mention a rapidly improving change-up.
"There is no experimentation now," Mazzone says. "It's a matter of repeating. Repeat, repeat, repeat."The flip side: Mazzone's charts show Cabrera surrendering only 11 hits on first-pitch strikes in 2006.
"When you consider all the first-pitch strikes he threw in games, probably 300 or so," Mazzone says. "Guess what? That's telling him that if he throws a first-pitch strike, it's pretty much lights out."