Cabrera’s place on Yankees roster facing heat from newcomer Rojas


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The New York Yankees are looking for a versatile player to fill one of the four bench spots on their Opening Day roster, and Oswaldo Cabrera is currently the frontrunner for the position.

Cabrera’s appeal for the role stems from his diverse skillset. The Yankees utility player possesses the ability to switch-hit, providing valuable offensive flexibility. Additionally, he has demonstrated power at the plate and speed on the basepaths.

However, Cabrera’s most valuable attribute in the eyes of the Yankees is his remarkable defensive versatility. He has showcased proficiency at multiple infield positions, including second base, shortstop, and third base, while also demonstrating comfort in both left and right field.

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While Cabrera holds the current lead for the utility role, the Yankees acknowledge the need for consistent performance throughout spring training. They are aware of his struggles at the plate following a promising rookie campaign in 2023. A strong showing during spring training will solidify his position, while a less impressive performance could open the door for other non-roster players vying for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Jose Rojas’ impresses with potential to claim Yankees roster berth

Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

In the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, a non-roster player made a strong case for himself. Jose Rojas, a versatile 31-year-old who bats left-handed, launched a home run to center field in the fifth inning while the Yankees were trailing 1-0.

Similar to Oswaldo Cabrera, Rojas possesses the ability to play both infield and outfield positions, offering the Yankees valuable roster flexibility. Additionally, he demonstrates power at the plate, further enhancing his potential contribution.

In Tuesday’s game, Rojas started at first base and went 1-for-3 batting fifth. He currently maintains a .222 batting average with one home run and three RBIs in three spring training games. Rojas has seen action at first base, designated hitter, and as a substitute first baseman, showcasing his versatility.

While not currently holding a roster spot, Rojas’ strong performance adds to the competition for a place on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. His versatility, offensive power, and recent home run performance suggest he is a player to watch during the remainder of spring training.

Hailing from Anaheim, California, 31-year-old Jose Rojas is making a strong case for himself during his spring training audition with the New York Yankees. The 6-foot, 200-pound infielder-outfielder boasts impressive statistics from his recent seasons in international leagues.

During the 2023 season with the Doosan Bears in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Rojas enjoyed a productive year. He compiled a .253 batting average with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 122 games, demonstrating his ability to contribute consistently both offensively and through run production.

Rojas continued his hot streak in the winter ball season with a remarkable performance in Mexico. He maintained an impressive .457 batting average across 13 games, further showcasing his offensive prowess. This included hitting three home runs and driving in 10 runs, contributing significantly to his team’s success.

Earlier in his career, while playing for the Salt Lake Bees, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, Rojas displayed his power potential by hitting 31 home runs in the 2018 season. This track record suggests a player with the ability to provide offensive power if given the opportunity at the major league level.

Suzyn waldman is interviewing Oswaldo Cabrera of the New York Yankees after his first major league home run on September 11, 2022.

Challenges remain

Despite showcasing talent in international leagues, Jose Rojas has faced challenges in translating that success to Major League Baseball. During his time with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021 and 2022, Rojas struggled to find consistency at the plate. Across 83 games, he compiled a .188 batting average, hitting six home runs while striking out 69 times in 224 at-bats.

Seeking a new opportunity, the 31-year-old Anaheim native signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees on January 31st. Standing at 6 feet and weighing 200 pounds, Rojas hopes to utilize his experience and versatility to overcome his past struggles and revitalize his career with the Yankees.

Rojas’ recent performances in various leagues showcase his talent and potential. With his versatility and offensive ability, he hopes to impress the Yankees throughout spring training and earn a spot on their Major League Baseball roster for the upcoming season.

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