While I'm on the subject of just flat-out hating this team, let's talk Daniel Cabrera. The absolute, A-number one biggest thing I can't stomach anymore is Mike Flanagan putting on his smile and telling us all that, gosh, they thought this team was better than this. Obviously, they're more streaky than anyone hoped. But the talent is there!
The talent isn't there. Daniel Cabrera is a prime example of this. We're talking about a 26-year old pitcher in his fourth year in the big leagues. He's not an up-and-comer anymore. He's not a prospect. He's not even a project. Daniel Cabrera is what he is, and the best he can be is a back-end starter on a bad team.
His strikeouts are way down this season (9.55 K/9 in 2006, 7.14 in 2007), and the walks are still an issue. Sure, those are down, too, but he still leads the American League in free passes.
He's not going to be Nolan Ryan, and I don't even like his chances of being Bobby Witt anymore. It's almost impossible to defend him anymore. Mazzone was given a mild slab of credit early in the year for Cabrera's improvement, but it was all short-lived. At best, Cabrera is about where he was in 2005. But even that's giving him too much in the way of props.
Cabrera is having his worst season. It's time to stop waiting for him to come around and find something else to do with him, whether it's sticking him in the bullpen and seeing how he does with that, or just putting him out there and seeing if someone is desperate or stupid enough to take on the five billionth failed "raw talent" guy in baseball history.
Outside of things like performance and results, there are plenty of things to like about Danny Cabs. He's fun to watch -- when he's on. He's an intense competitor, something that is sorely lacking on the last decade of Orioles teams. But even with his intensity, how long can you shield your eyes to the blatantly obvious? In his current role, he's pointless. This is probably as good as he's going to get.
Maybe he's just a tough nut to crack for any coach, but that would just be another reason why he's not a worthwhile venture any longer. Hayden Penn or somebody else could be trying to throw every fifth day instead of more Cabrera nonsense.
I rooted for him in 2005 and 2006 (well, sort of in 2006), but I can't take it anymore. If we're going to look at a serious house-cleaning, then Cabrera's role in the starting rotation should be near the top of the list.
But that might also be giving too much credit. If the Orioles decide to really clean house instead of just hiring Andy MacPhail and replacing Sam Perlozzo, I can't help but expect it to be just as half-assed as the lineup and bullpen upgrades from this past offseason.