Yankees need to keep Isiah Kiner-Falefa on the bench for the ALCS

Daniel Cunningham
isiah kiner-falefa, yankees

The New York Yankees get their third crack at the Houston Astros in the ALCS starting tonight. New York gets this shot on the heels of defeating the Cleveland Guardians 5-1 in the deciding game five of the ALDS yesterday. The last two games of the series in which New York won, saw Isiah Kiner-Falefa parked on the bench.

Calling a spade a spade here and saying the obvious, but IKF is an extreme liability on defense. It was a concern of Yankees fans and the first three games of the ALDS showed how badly it could play out in October with him manning shortstop.

In the first game, IKF had an error right off the bat that could have completely thrown Gerrit Cole off. Cole was able to work passed it and the Yankees ended up winning game one. They were not so lucky in game three.

While IKF was not charged with an error, he had a ground ball that was hit to him late in the game where his lack or urgency allowed a runner to reach. The runner would eventually score. In the first inning of the game, another ball was hit in his direction that a decent fielding shortstop gets to. Instead, the ball got by him and a runner scored.

Yankees need to keep their same energy

After defending him all year long, Aaron Boone finally made the right call when it came to IKF in games four and five. IKF was benched while Oswaldo Cabrera went to short and Aaron Hicks played left. If you want more proof regarding the Yankees frustrations with his fielding, when Aaron Hicks got hurt, Marwin Gonzalez checked in to play left instead of IKF playing short.

With Hicks getting injured and being out for the postseason, the Yankees are likely going to add Oswald Peraza to the ALCS roster. Peraza came up in September and made a huge impact for the Yankees. He played tremendous defense at shortstop and hit over 300.

The Yankees are playing the best team in baseball left standing starting tonight. They need their best team on the field and that team has Peraza at short and Cabrera in left field. IKF can contribute off the bench, but the Yankees cannot afford to play him at short. Beating the Astros is going to require their best effort. IKF doesn’t give you that when he is at short.