After Jim Thome’s heartwarming return to Cleveland, many people wondered if his final appearance during the 2011 season would be the last of his career.
Soon after the season’s end, Thome confirmed that he’d like to play again in 2012, as long as a team would have him. He didn’t have to wait long to learn his fate for 2012 – Thome will return to the Philadelphia Phillies next season. With Ryan Howard’s injury, the Phillies need a first baseman for at least the first part of the season. Personally, I’m kind of surprised that Philly wanted Thome for more than a pinch hitter. As the linked article so brilliantly claims though, “you do not want to wind up as Lyle Overbay‘s dance partner” when all is said and done.
There were rumors that Thome was interested in being reunited with the Phillies before he ended up in Cleveland last summer. Now he’ll have the chance for a Cleveland and a Philadelphia curtain call. I’m not sure if I’d want to rely on a 41-year-old with a history of back issues, one who hasn’t played the field with regularity since 2005. The reason the Indians did not want to reunite with Thome in 2012 was because they already have Travis Hafner penciled in as the designated hitter. The Indians could use some extra first base help, but probably didn’t want to chance using Thome at first on a somewhat regular basis.
Earlier this week the Silver Slugger awards were announced, and Asdrubal Cabrera took home the offensive award for shortstop! The awards are selected by coaches and managers of opposing teams, so it’s a sign of respect that Cabrera has among others around the league. It was the first time in his career that Cabrera won the award.
Cabrera led American League shortstops in home runs (25), hits (165) and RBI (92) and unfortunately, strikeouts (119). Former Indian Jhonny Peralta led in several other categories, including average (.299), on base percentage (.345), OPS (.824).