MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the reasons the Indians traded for utility man Brent Lillibridge last week was to add a backup shortstop to the team's bench. That would allow Cleveland to find some spots to give All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera a rest.
On Saturday, Indians manager Manny Acta felt it was a good time to give Cabrera a one-game break. The shortstop shifted from the starting lineup to the bench and Lillibridge, acquired from the Red Sox this past Tuesday, took his place in the field.
"It's tough to give those guys a day off when they're a big part of your lineup," Acta said.
Entering Saturday, Cabrera was hitting .277 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 44 RBIs through 91 games this season for the Indians. Over his past 22 games, however, the shortstop has slumped, batting just .207 (18-for-87) with one homer and four RBIs. Cabrera's season average has dropped 23 points from .300 over that 22-game stretch.
Cabrera had appeared in 91 of the 92 games he had been available for this season for the Indians, entering Saturday. In April, the shortstop missed eight games while in Venezuela to attend the funeral of one of his grandfathers.
"I think he's done a good job of maintaining his stamina," Acta said of Cabrera. "He lost a week earlier in the year when his grandfather passed away. And we have been able to take him out of games at times if the game has been a blowout. But, it helps to have a backup shortstop to give him a breather here or there."