Oswaldo Cabrera’s homer comes at the most opportune time for his career

Oswaldo Cabrera of the Yankees hits a home run against the Phillies on March 18, 2024.

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Oswaldo Cabrera is carving out a valuable niche for himself with the New York Yankees as a versatile utility infielder, possessing the potential to fill multiple positions depending on the recovery timeline of DJ LeMahieu from his foot injury.

While Oswaldo Cabrera is primarily viewed as the team’s backup shortstop, his defensive versatility extends to first base and potentially third base if LeMahieu’s injury necessitates a more extended absence. He is also capable of playing second base and is expected to see some playing time in the outfield, where he spent the majority of his time during the previous season.

The Yankees place a high value on Oswaldo Cabrera’s defensive flexibility, making any offensive improvements a welcome addition. Despite facing challenges at the plate both last season and for a significant portion of the Grapefruit League campaign, Cabrera displayed encouraging signs on Monday with his first spring home run and double.

Manager Aaron Boone highlighted Oswaldo Cabrera’s recent performance, particularly over the past week to ten days, as particularly noteworthy. He praised the youngster’s dedication to working with coaches and making adjustments to his hitting approach.

In essence, Oswaldo Cabrera’s emergence as a well-rounded utility player provides the Yankees with valuable depth, especially with the uncertainty surrounding LeMahieu’s status. His ability to contribute defensively across the infield and potentially the outfield makes him a key asset for the team as they navigate the upcoming season.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s spring surge strengthens his roster claim

Oswaldo Cabrera is playing at Yankees shortstop during a 2023 spring training game.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s defensive versatility has already solidified his status as a valuable asset for the New York Yankees. Now, a strong finish to the spring training campaign could cement his place on the Opening Day roster, especially as the team awaits the return of DJ LeMahieu from injury.

Despite posting a modest .211 batting average with five home runs across 115 games last season, Oswaldo Cabrera’s defensive prowess consistently earned him playing time. This year, however, he’s actively working on improving his hitting, focusing on a more compact swing from both sides of the plate.

“It’s not a major overhaul,” Oswaldo Cabrera explained, “just a few tweaks to keep my swing short and stay on top of the ball.”

These adjustments were on full display during Monday’s game. Oswaldo Cabrera launched a towering home run off a 98.1 mph fastball from Seranthony Dominguez, sending the ball a staggering 395 feet to right-center field. Impressively, he followed that up with a double down the right-field line against right-hander Austin Brice, again batting left-handed.

Manager Aaron Boone was particularly impressed with Oswaldo Cabrera’s ability to handle Dominguez’s high-velocity fastball, highlighting it as one of the most impactful swings he’s seen from the young player this spring.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s recent offensive surge, combined with his established defensive abilities, bodes well for his chances of making the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. A strong showing throughout the remainder of the spring training period will solidify his role as a key utility infielder, providing valuable depth and filling potential gaps while LeMahieu recovers from his injury.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s recent 2-for-3 performance, which included a home run and a double, provided a glimpse of his offensive potential amidst a challenging spring training campaign at the plate. While this outing offered a welcome spark, his overall numbers remain modest (.205 batting average, 8-for-39 with 4 walks and 10 strikeouts).

Spring training statistics typically carry less weight for established players, but for those vying for roster spots, they hold greater significance. Oswaldo Cabrera’s recent offensive slump forces the New York Yankees to carefully weigh his defensive value against his offensive production when finalizing the roster.

Manager Aaron Boone acknowledged the competition for backup infielder spots and confirmed that Oswaldo Cabrera remains in contention. He emphasized the importance of thoroughly evaluating all options. However, Boone also highlighted the utility player’s positive contributions beyond his recent hitting struggles. His supportive attitude as a teammate and his undeniable defensive versatility across multiple infield positions are significant factors in the decision-making process.

Ultimately, Oswaldo Cabrera’s ability to seamlessly transition between various infield positions could prove to be his most valuable asset, potentially tipping the scales in his favor despite his current offensive slump. The Yankees will continue to monitor his performance throughout the remainder of the spring training period as they determine the final makeup of their Opening Day roster.

Oswaldo Cabrera offers depth as Yankees navigate injuries


Oswaldo Cabrera’s defensive versatility is proving to be an invaluable asset for the New York Yankees, particularly as the team grapples with injuries that have impacted their infield depth.

Originally developed as a shortstop in the Yankees’ farm system, Oswaldo Cabrera’s opportunities at that position have been limited due to the strong performance of Anthony Volpe last season. However, he could emerge as the primary backup option at shortstop if Volpe suffers an injury. This role is not guaranteed, as non-roster invitee Kevin Smith or a potential trade acquisition could also fill that void.

Initially, Oswald Peraza was considered the top internal candidate at shortstop, but a shoulder injury has ruled him out from consideration for the Opening Day roster.

With DJ LeMahieu’s foot bruise potentially impacting his availability at third base (where he also serves as a backup for Anthony Rizzo at first), Oswaldo Cabrera’s ability to play multiple positions becomes even more crucial. His willingness to adapt is evident by his recent start at first base and his prior experience at third base in five spring training games. In essence, he has demonstrated readiness to fill any infield gap that might arise.

While Oswaldo Cabrera’s defensive abilities are undeniable, his offensive production has been a question mark. However, his recent 2-for-3 performance, which included a home run and a double, might be a turning point.

“It’s been encouraging to see him make some progress offensively,” remarked Manager Aaron Boone, acknowledging Oswaldo Cabrera’s development at the plate.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s versatility offers the Yankees much-needed depth as they navigate a challenging injury situation. His ability to seamlessly transition between various infield positions could ultimately prove to be his most valuable asset, solidifying his place on the roster and providing crucial backup options throughout the season.

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