- - Thursday, August 15, 2019

Asdrúbal Cabrera was stunned when he was let go by the Texas Rangers Aug. 3.

“I never thought that would happen to me,” the veteran infielder said.

But the former National landed on his feet, signing up for another stint in Washington, his second in in six years — with the first go-round coming in 2014, when Cabrera played in 49 games and appeared in the playoffs against the San Francisco Giants.

He’s ready for another playoff push.

“I feel good to be back in Washington and try to help the team win,” he told The Washington Times.



“I am probably going to play everywhere on the infield. I am waiting for the opportunity to do my best.”

After being released by Texas, Cabrera had the chance to return to New York.

He was an everyday player for the Mets in 2016-17 and saw a lot of action with the team before he was traded during the 2018 season to Philadelphia.

The 33-year-old native of Venezuela talked to his family, which includes his wife and three children.

His oldest son, Meyer, 12, had good memories of Citi Field when his father played for the Mets.

But they decided to return to Washington and he signed with the Nationals on August 6.

“We preferred to come back here and this club and this situation right and a chance to make the playoffs,” he said.

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, who was not with Washington in 2014, is glad to have the veteran behind him.

“It is huge,” Doolittle said of Cabrera. “Sometimes you don’t realize how valuable players like him can be. Sometimes we get wrapped up in sabermetrics.”

Cabrera broke into the majors with the Cleveland Indians in 2007 and has also played with Tampa Bay during his career. He appeared in the playoffs with the Nationals in 2014, with Cleveland in 2007 and 2013 and the Mets in 2016.

Cabrera started at second base on Wednesday and crossed home plate twice in the fifth inning as the Nationals scored 10 runs that frame against the Reds.

He ended the day with three hits in five at-bats with the two runs and three runs driven in as Washington won 17-7.

Regular second baseman Brian Dozier dealt with salmonella last weekend that caused him to miss some games. On top of that, his wife is expecting their first child — making the presence of Cabrera even more important. Manager Dave Martinez praised general manager Mike Rizzo for getting Cabrera.

“He has been unbelievable,” Martinez said of Cabrera. “Awesome. Great pickup.”

Cabrera is batting .381 with five RBIs in his first six games with the Nationals after batting .235 in 93 contests with Texas earlier this season.

He has 1611 hits in his career and joins a Nationals bench that includes veteran outfielder/first baseman Gerardo Parra, who was acquired in May and has 1301 lifetime hits.

Another versatile veteran for Washington is Howie Kendrick, who is hitting .315 and has 1686 hits in his career. That is 4598 hits between the three.

“That has been a key for us this season,” Doolittle said of the veterans. “It kept us from going off the rails in May entirely. Our bench is so versatile when you can have Cabrera, Parra and Howie. They can play flexible positions. It gives us the flexibility to carry an eight-man bullpen. That is huge for us.”

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