ST. PETERSBURG -- If there is one player who Indians manager Manny Acta does not worry too much about, it's shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Even when Cabrera is mired in a persistent slump, Acta maintains faith in the All-Star.
On Tuesday, Acta kept Cabrera in the starting lineup as Cleveland's No. 2 hitter, giving him a chance to work his way out of his current slide. The way the manager sees things, it is only a matter of time before Cabrera gets himself back on track.
"He'll be back at it," Acta said. "He's in pretty good shape right now, still. He's too good of a hitter."
This is not to say Acta did not consider giving Cabrera the day off.
"We think about that," Acta said.
Acta decided to keep Cabrera, who headed into Tuesday's game in a 1-for-25 slump in his past six games, in the lineup on Monday, partially due to who was pitching for Tampa Bay. With Rays lefty Matt Moore pitching, Acta wanted to have the switch-hitting Cabrera (.274 against southpaws this year) in the lineup.
Acta added that Cabrera was unlikely to receive a day off when the Indians start a sinkerballer such as Justin Masterson or Derek Lowe. If the shortstop does get a day off in the near future, it would likely be on a day when one of the Tribe's other three starters is on the mound, and a righty is on the hill for the opposition.
"It has to be the right combination," said Acta, who noted that he is comfortable with third baseman Jack Hannahan serving as the backup shortstop.
Entering Tuesday, Cabrera was hitting .274 with 11 home runs, 20 doubles and 42 RBIs through 80 games. The shortstop was hitting .040 in his last six games with 11 strikeouts in that span. Over his last 11 games, Cabrera has gone 5-for-44 (.114) with 14 strikeouts. Cabrera's average was .200 and .242 over his last 20 and 58 games, respectively.
"Right now, he's expanding the strike zone a little bit more than he was earlier," Acta said. "It happens. When guys start to scuffle a little bit, they want to do too much. He's just missing his pitch, basically. He's fouling off some pitches that he's able to handle."