OAKLAND, Calif. — Even as 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 at the plate. saying that in -The bats were better than the numbers stated.
And the fact that the 23-year-old showed his ability at three different positions during those five games masked some of his potential problems on offense.
Now, Cabrera is getting results at the plate, too.
He had his second straight three-hit game Friday night in the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the A’s.
Cabrera hit a triple to right field against left-hander JP Sears in the third inning and added singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Even when he made one out, he was a line drive to the right in the eighth.
The youngster also made a good running catch in right field. His only mistake came when he was intercepted in the sixth.
Cabrera has also now started at four different spots on the field: second base, third base and shortstop, as well as right field.
And he hasn’t struck out in his last five games.
Cabrera has also provided the Yankees with a switch-hitter, something they were lacking with Aaron Hicks practically sitting on the bench during a slump.
It’s what the Yankees were looking for when they promoted Cabrera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to play a utility role.
But that is not all.
“For a very young player, he plays free and easy because it’s his first contact with the big leagues,” Boone said Friday. “That is not always easy to achieve. … You can tell that he loves to play.”
Since his arrival, he’s been a regular in the lineup, helping charm DJ LeMahieu (still dealing with a sore toe), as well as serving as depth in the outfield with Hicks struggling and Giancarlo Stanton not ready to return to the field afterward. to miss a shot. 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).
“It’s fun to watch,” Stanton said of the rookie the Yankees smuggled out of Venezuela in 2015 for $100,000, in the same class, and for the same deal, as Deivi Garcia.
Cabrera has hit well since the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19, posting an .803 OPS with Double-A Somerset, where he spent most of last season, after failing to play above High-A before 2021.
He went on to produce a nine-game stint with the SWB last season and did so again this year, posting an .832 OPS in 47 games at Triple-A before his promotion to The Bronx.
“He looks comfortable and confident on both sides,” said an American League scout. “It’s too early to say if it’s sustainable, but there are things I like about it.”
And it has provided a bit of a boost to a team that was falling behind.
The Yankees have won five straight, with Cabrera starting and contributing in all of them.