Yankees young phenom Oswaldo Cabrera could have a vastly different role in 2023

Nick Nielsen
oswaldo cabrera, yankees
Sep 27, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) celebrates hitting a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees finally decided to call up the kids and let them play toward the back half of the season, with Oswaldo Cabrera making an immediate impact when called upon.

The Yankees can get great utility value out of Oswaldo:

Oswaldo played both shortstop and second base primarily, but when the team needed him in the outfield, he did the job. Cabrera likely won’t be playing the corner outfield regularly next year, as the team will be searching for more natural outfielders. However, that means Oswaldo could be taking on a huge role as the prime utility infielder.

Cabrera played both outfield positions quite well, but his work in RF specifically was otherworldly. In just 208.1 innings in right field, he accumulated 9 DRS and posted an UZR/150 of 39.7. His work at other positions was solid, and he was able to have at least a Defensive Run Saved at four different positions. Oswaldo being able to play the outfield so smoothly was a huge benefit for the Yankees, but with Bader back and now looking like he’s cemented his Yankee future, Judge will likely see next-to-no time in CF (assuming he is resigned).

Oswaldo Cabrera will likely fill the role of DJ LeMahieu next year:

DJ’s injury derailed the season just a tad at the end of the year, but with a full offseason to recover, I expect DJ’s foot issue to be a thing of the past. With Josh Donaldson doing and showing nothing that warrants him being on the squad next year, I think DJ could slide over the 3B to be the regular for the season. That means that Oswald Peraza, IKF potentially, Gleyber Torres — assuming he is on the roster, and the wildcard of Anthony Volpe, will be fighting for the other two spots in the infield.

Cabrera can play six positions, which is why his role next season will likely be that of the utility infielder/outfielder that should see a minimum of 250 PAs.

There’s no doubting the talent Cabrera possesses, and in September, he was able to shine on the biggest stage. He struggled initially out of the gate, posting a 74 wRC+ in the month of August, though only putting together 54 PAs.

Once he was able to settle in and get more regular at-bats, Oswaldo was on fire. He finished the season with a fantastic month of September and October briefly, as his wRC+ rose to 129 for the month, and his BB% doubled to 10.6% over that time. He ended the season with a 111 wRC+ and a .740 OPS across his 44 games in the big leagues. His 1.5 fWAR was 0.2 more than IKF’s 1.3, despite seeing 360 fewer PAs.

Oswaldo Cabrera is a huge piece for this team going forward, and with questions surrounding a majority of players on this squad for the first time in a while, it’s nice to have the assurance that Oswaldo is ready to go whenever. His flexibility in the field will see him get tons of ABs in huge moments, just as it should be.

The postseason was a bit of a tough one for Waldo, but it was a tough one for the entire squad. Everyone is going to be asking, ‘Where’s Waldo’ and hopefully, he’ll be jogging around the bases a dozen or so times.