I love this viral clip of Manny Ramirez homering in his first Dominican Winter League at-bat. It spread all over yesterday, but what I didn’t notice was that the pitcher who gave it up is none other than Daniel Cabrera. If you’re an O’s fan, or just a fan of baseball curiosities in general, you remember him.
He was 6’7″ and threw about 100 mph. You saw a lot of him for Baltimore, as he pitched 169 innings per season from 2004-08, leading the league in walks twice and losses once. Just when you were ready to give up on him, though, he’d go out and flirt with a no-hitter or something. He was that kind of pitcher, until the O’s actually did give up on him.
I’d forgotten that the Nats took a flier on him in ’09. He was awful, walking 35 in 40 innings and posting 5.85 ERA. Cabrera hasn’t seen Major League action since that season, undergoing Tommy John and bouncing around the minors. And now he’s in the DR, serving up 91-mph meatballs.
Daniel Cabrera is 31 years old. He’s done too much, much too young.