Yankees planning to demote super-utility man

yankees, oswaldo cabrera
Apr 5, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees prepare to welcome back Giancarlo Stanton for their upcoming series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in California, they face a challenging decision regarding their roster positions.

It appears that corner outfielder Jake Bauers will maintain his roster spot, but according to Jack Curry of the YES Network, versatile player Oswaldo Cabrera may be heading for a demotion.

The Yankees need to free up two roster spots to accommodate the return of Stanton and Josh Donaldson. While it seems apparent that Franchy Cordero will be reassigned to Triple-A, the Yankees find themselves with no other option than to relegate the underperforming Cabrera.

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The Yankees tried to give Oswaldo Cabrera time:

At 24 years old, Cabrera has been struggling this season, with a batting average of just .195 and an on-base percentage (OBP) of .246, which includes three home runs and 15 RBIs over 49 games.

The team provided him with ample opportunities to enhance his offensive output, but his weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 46 suggests that he may not yet be ready for Major League Baseball. Despite a strikeout rate of only 19.6%, his walk rate is a mere 6.0%, showing a significant decrease in productivity compared to his 2022 performance.

Last year, over 44 games, he managed to hit .247 with a .312 OBP. Although those numbers aren’t particularly impressive, they were sufficient to warrant his place on the roster.

Regrettably, his offensive performance has suffered a severe downturn, and even his defensive proficiency has been compromised. He has a wins above replacement (WAR) score of -0.6, along with -2 defensive runs saved at second base and -2 outs above average. His outfield defense remains respectable, with four defensive runs saved, but his utility value in the infield is slightly subpar.

With the offensive statistics of Isiah Kiner-Falefa soaring and his satisfactory outfield performance, manager Aaron Boone was compelled to make the tough decision to send Cabrera back to Scranton for further development of certain aspects of his game.

In May, Cabrera hit .188 with a .260 OBP and .564 OPS, managing only one hit in his most recent six games. Until he regains his confidence at the plate and makes some adjustments to his fundamentals, he should use each Triple-A game as an opportunity to hone his skills and address his shortcomings.