Yankees News: Fan-favorite called up, Aaron Judge receives positive news

oswaldo cabrera, yankees
May 27, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) hits a single against the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees find themselves facing a new round of challenges following Wednesday’s victory over the Seattle Mariners. With the loss of outfielder and primary DH Willie Calhoun to a left quad injury, the team faces yet another injured list entry.

Calhoun’s grim outlook—being unable to run and dealing with substantial pain—suggests an extended absence is on the horizon. As a response, the Yankees have called up Oswaldo Cabrera, a fan favorite despite his frequent transitions between teams and underwhelming performance this season.

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Oswaldo Cabrera’s Struggles and Opportunities

Over 60 games with the Yankees this year, Cabrera has posted a modest .190 batting average and .238 OBP, amassing four home runs and 18 RBIs. His worrying 44 wRC+ indicates that he’s performed 56% below the average MLB player, explaining his recurrent demotions to Triple-A. His stats with Scranton are equally unimpressive with a .167 batting average and .375 OBP in just two games.

Looking Ahead to the Trade Deadline

As the trade deadline looms, the Yankees are expected to seek a starting-level outfielder with a robust offensive profile. The team’s roster is packed with defensive talent and secondary bats but lacks a consistent starter who can offset the frequent injuries suffered by Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge.

Positive News for Aaron Judge

Speaking of Judge, the star outfielder—who left the team with a .291 batting average, .404 OBP, 19 homers, and 40 RBIs—received encouraging news on Thursday. MLB Network’s Brian Hoch reported that Judge has commenced pool, balance, and strength work, aiming to resume throwing and light hitting by week’s end.

Judge’s return cannot come soon enough, given his critical role in the team’s offense. Since his absence, the Yankees have only managed to score five runs or more in three games.

Dependence on Starting Pitching and Outfield Depth

The burden has fallen on the team’s starting pitching to compensate for this offensive shortfall, a strategy with an unsustainable lifespan. The Yankees’ outfield depth, bolstered by contributions from Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney, has borne the brunt of the load recently. However, the team will inevitably hit another rough patch unless veterans like Josh Donaldson, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu step up to help carry the offense.