Cabrera racking up doubles in leadoff spot
SAN DIEGO -- Chances are that Padres leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera isn't going to finish among the top five in the National League in doubles this season, but after 13 games, he's tied for fourth with six doubles.
"It's great, he's using the whole field," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We're seeing a nice job out of that leadoff spot. Cabby's doing a good job of taking pitches, fouling balls off and letting the other guys see a high number of pitches."
Cabrera, who was a late scratch Tuesday with right knee soreness, has a .340 average and a team-high 18 hits. He's hitting .333 from the right side and .341 in 44 at-bats from the left side with four of his six doubles.
Last season, Cabrera had 15 doubles in 381 at-bats. So far, he has six in 53 at-bats.
"With Cabby, we're still working on shortening his stroke. He and [hitting coach Phil Plantier] are talking about his ability to turn on the ball, turn on the fastball and get it into right-center. You can't complain about the batting average right now," Black said.
Cabrera also leads the team with 17 strikeouts.
"We need to get him to cut down on that strikeout total," Black said. "He's expanded the zone a little bit, which has led to the strikeouts."