The New York Yankees completely demolished the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night, scoring 14 runs compared to Pittsburgh’s two. The Bombers recorded 11 total hits, and while they did strike out 13 times, they were completely unstoppable against a weak Pirates pitching staff.
However, their starter, Roansy Contreras, has had a solid 2022 season, but he couldn’t hang with the big boys, giving up six earned runs over 4.2 innings.
Just as the Yankees ended their walk-off fairytale win on Tuesday night, they started off Wednesday night’s game the same way, a grand slam in the first inning.
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The Yankees have a big decision coming up in left field:
The Yankees are still holding out hope that Andrew Benintendi can return and feature in left field, but that decision might be getting a little bit more difficult with Oswaldo Cabrera’s bat starting to showcase consistent quality.
Cabrera launched a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning, driving in Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton. He finished the day with two hits, five RBIs, and a homer across four at-bats. He’s elevated his average to .231 on the season with a 29.4% on-base rate, but he’s also tallied three homers with 15 RBIs.
Comparably, reserve outfielder Aaron Hicks begged for more opportunities ahead of the postseason, but he’s only hit seven home runs across 120 games this season, whereas Cabrera has already hit three in 30 games. He’s also walking at an 8.4% rate and striking out at 27.7%. Both of those metrics have taken a significant step forward over the past few games.
In fact, over Cabrera’s last six games, he’s tallied eight hits, two homers, and seven RBIs, walking five times. Aside from his offensive prowess lately, he’s showcased elite-level defense in the outfield, another metric that justifies starting him during the postseason.
Specifically, Cabrera features nine defensive runs saved above average, spending his last three games in left field, recording a perfect fielding percentage.
Cabrera is undoubtedly making the decision hard for the Yankees, especially if Andrew Benintendi is able to return from a fractured wrist bone.
There’s no guarantee the trade acquisition will be entirely healthy the rest of the way, and if Oswaldo continues to dominate, there’s a good argument to be made that he should be retained in the starting lineup.