Yankees should ride the hot hand at third base despite new trade acquisition

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees acquired super utilityman Jon Berti from the Miami Marlins two days ago. While there was some speculation regarding his spot in the lineup on opening day, the team decided to roll with Oswaldo Cabrera.

Cabrera had an up-and-down spring performance coming off a tough 2023 season that saw his development trend in the wrong direction. He ended up hitting .211/.275/.299, including five homers and 29 RBIs. This spring, he hit .213 with a .302 OBP but did manage two homers and three RBIs across 20 games. The Yankees clearly wanted to add more support and upside in the infield, especially with DJ LeMahieu suffering a foot injury.

Berti, now 34, is coming off a solid season with the Marlins, enjoying a career-high .294 batting average with a solid .344 on-base percentage. The Yanks gave up 18-year-old outfield prospect John Cruz, so they were looking to cash in for an immediate impact piece.

However, the Yankees should simply roll with the hot hand for now. Cabrera smashed a home run against the Astros on Thursday, tying the game at 4–4 in the sixth inning. Cabrera finished the day with two hits and two runs, displaying solid offensive value, which is exactly what the Yankees were hoping to see.

The Yankees Should Roll With the Hot Hand

For now, there’s no reason to move Cabrera out of the lineup for Berti, especially if he continues to hit at this pace. Evidently, he’s far more proficient at batting lefty, and he capitalized against Houston’s bullpen. Cabrera helped spark an offense that was struggling to get things going, leaving the bases juiced on two separate occasions before finally getting a few runs on the board of the fifth fitting.

LeMahieu should return in a few weeks after being placed on a 10-day in your list, retroactive to March 25. He will reclaim his job as the primary lead-off man and starter at third base, but the Yankees have plenty of depth to work with, and that was a major problem just a few short days ago.

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