Cleveland Indians All-Decade Team Studs and Duds: The Infield

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Second Base

Second base is another super easy position to pick the star of the decade. Despite how he may have finished out the decade, Jason Kipnis was not only the Tribe’s second baseman for much of the decade but arguably the face of the franchise for part of it. He posted an fWAR over 22 this decade with Mike Freeman coming in second at 1.0–Freeman was the Tribe’s utilityman in 2019 alone. It appears the new decade will start without Kipnis at second base though fans should not forget what Kipnis was able to accomplish for the Tribe. One of the best second basemen in team history.

With Kipnis owning the position so long, there aren’t a lot of duds this decade. However, one that does come to mind is the late Luis Valbuena. One of my favorite players, Valbuena just never was able to find it with the Indians. He struggled to hit .200 for much of his stint here and posted a -1.5 fWAR at second base. However, he eventually found himself in Chicago and had some very good years. He tragically died after being murdered in a carjacking/robbery.

Because of that, I just can’t bring myself to give him the “dud” award. Orlando Cabrera though? In nearly the same amount of plate appearances at second base posted an OBP nearly as bad at .277 (to Valbuena’s .267). Cabrera’s only benefit was he arguably helped bring out the power in Asdrubal Cabrera but his one season with the Tribe was beyond forgettable.

Stud: Jason Kipnis
Dud: Orlando Cabrera