Padres Birthday Spotlights: Hector Sanchez and Everth Cabrera

Credit: AP Photo

Happy 28th birthday to now former Padre catcher Hector Sanchez. Also, former Padre all-star shortstop Everth Cabrera turns 31 today.

Before he came to San Diego, Sanchez debuted with the San Francisco Giants in 2011. He has been a backup catcher his whole career. He did so with the Giants for parts of five seasons before being signed by the White Sox in the winter of 2015. By May of 2016, the White Sox put him on waivers where the Padres scooped him up.

Sanchez just finished his second season in the Padres organization. He hit eight home runs with 25 RBI and a .219 average in the 2017 season. He will be most remembered for his red-hot July when he hit half his season total in home runs and hit .283. He absolutely tortured his former team, the Giants. In five games against San Fran, he hit four home runs with a .300 batting average. He hit a walk-off home run against them on July 15th against Steven Okert.

Sanchez was not brought into San Diego for his hitting prowess, however. It seems he had a lot of respect from the pitching staff for his efforts behind the plate. His 4.56 catcher’s ERA was the best on the club, slightly edging starting catcher Austin Hedges.

Everth Cabrera came to San Diego with little fanfare. The Padres selected him out of the Rule 5 Draft from the Colorado Rockies in December of 2008. That next season, he played 103 games for the Friars. He hit .255 with 25 stolen bases and eight triples. The Padres thought they had their shortstop of the future in the young Nicaraguan. They did, for a short while at least. He battled injuries and was up and down in the system for much of the next two seasons.

In 2012, he was the everyday shortstop once again. He played 115 games and led the National League with 44 stolen bases. Then in 2013, he was named to his first ever All-Star game. He collected a career-high 108 hits and batted .283 with 37 stolen bases. His 81 steals in that two-year span were among the best in baseball. His season was cut short however when he was suspended 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

In 90 games in 2014, he hit just .232 and was non-tendered by the Padres after that season. Things went downhill fast after his suspension. He was picked up by the Orioles before the 2015 season. He was designated for assignment not long after, when he hit .208 in 29 games.

He has not played in a major league game since then. The Giants and White Sox signed him to minor league deals, but it did not pan out.

He is currently a free agent and his return to baseball is unclear. He certainly is not the electrifying catalyst he was at his peak in San Diego. The Padres have struggled to find a shortstop since his decline, but a reunion is out of the question.

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Nick Lee

Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.


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