Yankees are being forced into a dark corner with their starting outfielders

Alexander Wilson
oswaldo cabrera, yankees
Aug 30, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) is unable to catch a fly ball by Los Angeles Angels right fielder Taylor Ward (not pictured) in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees still have about a month until the playoffs begin, and they are forced into elimination rounds. While they are currently enjoying a two-game winning streak, they’ve been abysmal for the most part since after the All-Star break.

Specifically, the Bombers have won just 17 games compared to 26 losses in that timeframe. Before the All-Star break, they won 64 games and lost 28, hosting a team .246 batting average. However, August was devastating for the Yankees, a month they are trying to forget.

One of the biggest issues at this point in the season is injury. The outfield has been devastated recently, with Andrew Benintendi undergoing surgery on his wrist and Harrison Bader working his way back from plantar fasciitis.

The outfield is extremely thin, leaving manager Aaron Boone trying to come up with a solution on a daily basis.

Yankees outfield options:

1.) Aaron Judge

Of course, the Yankees feature Aaron Judge, their MVP caliber player, and essentially their entire offense the past few weeks. On the season, he features a .302 average and 40% on-base rate, 54 homers, and 117 RBIs. He leads the entire league in home runs and RBIs, also tallying 15 stolen bases and a 13.9% walk rate.

Judge has made the transition to centerfield the season, but once Harrison Bader returns, the expectation is that he will shift back to right. The question is, who will take over in left with Benintendi expected to miss the next few weeks at the very least?

2.) Oswaldo Cabrera

Oswaldo Cabrera has been a godsend defensively since being called up, but he’s struggled in the batter’s box to get acclimated. The 23-year-old features a .190 average with a 23.5% on-base rate, recording three RBIs and a 25% strikeout rate.

Defensively, he’s spent 11 games in right field, hosting a perfect fielding percentage and seven defensive runs saved above average. They can rely on him to provide stellar support in the field, but he is unable to contribute offensively without more experience, which has set the Yankees back a bit.

3.) Aaron Hicks

Expecting Aaron Hicks to provide value at this point in the season is simply malpractice from management. Resorting to witchcraft might be the only way to break him out of his current funk.

We saw Hicks enjoy a solid stretch back in July, hitting .275 with a 41.2% on-base rate, including three homers and 13 RBIs. However, in August, he batted .137 with a 22.4% on base rate. To start September, he’s hitting .091 with a 16.7% on-base rate.

Boone has already relegated Aaron to the bench permanently, so it seems, going as far as starting Tim Locastro in the field over him.

4.) Tim Locastro

One of the Yankees’ last resorts is Tim Locastro, who is hitting .162 this season with a 22.5% on-base rate. That is far worse than Cabrera, who is struggling as a rookie in less than 20 games at the big league level.

Locastro has solid range in the outfield, but he’s otherwise useless as a hitter. He can steal bases, tallying seven this season, but getting on base, to begin with, is a struggle.

5.) Marwin Gonzalez

The last time Marwin Gonzalez recorded a hit prior to Monday’s game against the Minnesota Twins was back on July 6 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 16–0 route. He recorded a solo homer against Minnesota, helping the Yankee secure their second consecutive win, but the Bombers would like to stay away from his usage if possible.

Unfortunately, the team has a lot of last resort options getting serious playing time right now, which is what they don’t a month before the playoffs.