Yankees close to getting reinforcements in the infield

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees, jon berti
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are grappling with challenges in their infield, particularly due to DJ LeMahieu’s prolonged recovery from an injury and Oswaldo Cabrera’s declining performance after a promising start to the season.

Cabrera’s Declining Performance

Initially a key player in the Yankees’ early successes, Oswaldo Cabrera has recently faced significant difficulties at the plate.

Over the last 15 days, Cabrera’s batting average is .212, with an on-base percentage of .236 and a slugging percentage of .250. His overall performance has dropped to below-average levels, as evidenced by his 93 wRC+, which indicates he is performing 7% worse than the average MLB hitter.

Additionally, Cabrera’s struggles are compounded by his lack of walks, with a season walk rate of only 5.6%, underscoring his ongoing issues with plate discipline.

MLB: New York Yankees at Milwaukee Brewers, oswaldo cabrera
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees’ Infield Strategy and Rehabilitation Setbacks

The Yankees had hoped DJ LeMahieu could return to third base immediately after a short rehab stint. However, discomfort in his foot forced him out of his first rehab game after just one at-bat, delaying his return to the lineup.

In the meantime, Jon Berti, who is also recovering from a groin injury, is expected to fill in. Berti, formerly of the Miami Marlins, brings a solid track record from the previous season, where he hit .294/.344/.405 with seven home runs, 33 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases — he stole 41 bags back in 2022.

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees, jon berti
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Despite playing only six games this season for the Yankees, Berti’s small sample size shows promise. He is currently batting .211 with a .250 on-base percentage, and the team anticipates improvement as he gains more playing time.

Given Gleyber Torres’s inconsistent performances and Anthony Rizzo’s recent volatility, General Manager Brian Cashman might consider seeking additional infield talent at the trade deadline if the current lineup does not improve. The urgency of bolstering the infield via trade is negated for now by the potential for LeMahieu and other recovering players to regain full health and form as the season progresses.

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