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Dan Cabrera: Breakout or BreakDown?

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Young Player Review: Daniel Cabrera

I wrote a piece about Daniel Cabrera last April.

Cabrera's K/IP ratio improved dramatically in 2005. He improved his K/9IP rate from 4.63 in 2004 to 8.76 in 2005, tremendous improvement. He also reduced his walk rate, from 5.42 BB/9IP in '04 to 4.85 in 2005. His hit rate dropped as well, resulting in an overall WHIP reduction from 1.58 to 1.43.

For all his improvement in the component ratios, Cabrera's overall relative performance actually slipped! His raw ERA improved from 5.00 to 4.52, but this is an illusion. His ERA relative to league norms actually got worse, his ERA+ dropping from 96 to 92.

So, what do we expect in 2006? Does Cabrera's ERA improve to match his sharper components? Do the components slip to match the ERA? Or does he maintain the status quo? Personally, I believe that Cabrera is a candidate for a breakout season in 2006, as long as he remains healthy. What do you guys think?