Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera records second straight three-hit game
OAKLAND, Calif. — Even when Oswaldo Cabrera went 3 for 19 with no walks and nine strikeouts in his first five MLB games, Yankees manager Aaron Boone seemed confident the rookie would find his way to the plate. , saying the at-bats were better than the figures given.
And the fact that the 23-year-old showed his ability at three different positions in those five games masked some of his potential issues offensively.
Now Cabrera is also getting results at home plate.
He had his second straight three-hit game Friday night in the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Athletics.
Cabrera tripled to right field against left-hander JP Sears in the third inning and added singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Even when he did get an out, it was a right liner in the eighth.
The youngster also made a nice power take in right field. His only mistake came when he was knocked out in the sixth.
Cabrera also started at four different locations on the field – second base, third base and shortstop, as well as right field.
And he hasn’t struck back in his last five games.
Cabrera also provided the Yankees with a switch-hitter, something they lacked with Aaron Hicks virtually glued to the bench while in a disastrous slump.
That’s what the Yankees were looking for when they promoted Cabrera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to play a utility role.
But that’s not all.
« For a very young player, he’s playing freely and easily because it’s his first experience in the big leagues, » Boone said on Friday. “It’s not always easy to find. … You can tell he likes to play the game.”
Since joining he has been a regular in the lineup, helping spell out DJ LeMahieu (still struggling with a sore toe), as well as serving as outfield depth with Hicks struggling and Giancarlo Stanton not ready to return on the field after missing more than a month with left Achilles tendonitis.
Cabrera’s average exit speed is 89.4 mph, just behind LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo (89.6), and ahead of Andrew Benintendi (89.2) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (86.4).
« He’s fun to watch, » Stanton said of the rookie the Yankees snapped from Venezuela in 2015 for $100,000, in the same class – and on the same contract – as Deivi Garcia.
Cabrera has hit well since the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19, posting an OPS of 0.803 with Double-A Somerset, where he spent most of last season, after not playing above High-A before 2021.
He continued to produce in a nine-game stint with SWB last season and did it again this year, with .832 OPS in 47 games at Triple-A before his promotion to the Bronx.
« He looks comfortable and confident on both sides, » an AL scout said. « It’s too early to say if it’s sustainable, but there are things to like about him. »
And he gave a little boost to a team that was lagging behind.
The Yankees have won five straight games – Cabrera starting and contributing in all of them.