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In 2007, Asdrubal Cabrera was a young late-season callup, but now perhaps he's finishing out his Indians career.

Once a late-season callup for a playoff team, Asdrubal Cabrera is perhaps playing his last month with the Cleveland Indians.

Asdrubal Cabrera was once a late-season callup during a pennant chase.
Asdrubal Cabrera was once a late-season callup during a pennant chase.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Asdrubal Cabrera is 27 years old, which is usually a player's baseball peak. 27 is usually the age when a player is still at his defensive peak and when his offense is coming into its own. But this season has been one of Cabrera's worst. He hasn't really hit all season relative to what he's done in the past, and of late he's made several bad errors, including one in yesterday's game that could have cost the Indians dearly.

But seven years years ago, Asdrubal Cabrera was a major reason why the Indians won the AL Central. In 2007, the Indians were still trying to find their long-term second baseman.

For several years they had thought that Brandon Phillips was going to be that guy, and he was, but for another team. After the 2006 season, they traded Kevin Kouzmanoff and Andrew Brown to San Diego for Josh Barfield, who seemed to be on the cusp of a solid career.

Barfield was 24 years old and had had a nice rookie season with the Padres, but in his second full season he didn't hit at all (.243/.270/.324). Enter a young shortstop that the Indians had acquired the previous season.

From Cabrera's Top 100 Indians entry:

Cabrera would finish the [2006] season in Buffalo, but would then go to Akron to start the 2007 season; as a 21-year-old, he was one of the youngest players in the Eastern League, and he was starting to hit for power; he had a .310/.380/.454 line with the Aeros, then was promoted back to Buffalo in late July, and then got the call to the majors in early August. He initially was going to be a backup infielder, playing second, short, and third, but would end up supplanting Josh Barfield as the starting second baseman down the stretch. He hit .283/.354/.421 for the Indians, often batting second behind Grady Sizemore in the lineup. The Indians had a record of 36-20 in August and September, and Cabrera was a large contributor to that success.

He wasn't called up until August 8, but over the last couple months of the season he was worth 1.6 wins (B-ref) over replacement. That's more than double what he's done this entire season.

Now it looks like Cabrera is the one who is going to be phased out in favor of the young player. Francisco Lindor probably will not play the rest of the season (he's had a sore lower back), but he's on track to make his major-league debut next year in his Age 20 season. Perhaps Cabrera will still be here then, or perhaps the Indians will trade him this winter, but I think it's a given that by the end of the 2014 season, Lindor will be the everyday shortstop.

I still think Cabrera can be a productive player, though. He's actually in better shape now than in years past, and is still having a decent offensive season relative to his position (have you seen what other shortstops are hitting?). And he's very capable of carrying the Tribe offense down the stretch. But I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of Cabrera with the Indians.