Sports Update 

Young Yankees phenomenon Oswaldo Cabrera could play a very different role in 2023

September 27, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; New York Yankees right-hand Oswaldo Cabrera (95) celebrates a one-two against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Center. Mandatory credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Yankees can get a huge benefit from Oswaldo:

Oswaldo played both shortstop and second base first, but when the team needed him on the field, he did the job. Cabrera will likely not play at the corner stadium regularly next year, as the team will be looking for more natural players. However, this means that Oswaldo could play a large role as the main companion player.

Cabrera played both outside positions well, but his work at RF in particular was from another world. In just 208.1 runs in the right field, he collected 9 DRS and scored a UZR/150 of 39.7. His work in the other positions was solid, and he was able to at least be protected from defensive runs in four different positions. Oswaldo’s ability to play on the field so smoothly has been a huge benefit to the Yankees, but with Bader back and now looking to cement his future at the Yankees, the judge is likely to see soon or no time in CF (assuming he quits).

Oswaldo Cabrera is likely to play DJ LeMahieu next year:

The DJ’s injury derailed the season only a little boy at the end of the year, but with a full recovery from the season, I expect the DJ’s foot problem to be a thing of the past. With Josh Donaldson doing and not showing anything that guarantees him to be on the team next year, I think DJ could slip above level 3B to be the norm for this season. That means Oswald Peraza, potential IKF, and Gleyber Torres – assuming he’s on the roster, and the wildcard for Anthony Volpe – will fight for the other two signers on the field.

Cabrera can play six positions, which is why his role next season will likely be that of an outside player/player who must see at least 250 protected areas.

There is no doubting the talent Cabrera possesses, and in September, he was able to shine on the bigger stage. He initially struggled out of the gate, posting 74 wRC+ in August, despite only accumulating 54 protected areas.

Once he was able to stabilize and get more regular hits, Oswaldo caught fire. He finished the season off with a great month from September and October for a while, with his wRC+ index rising to 129 for the month, and his BB% doubling to 10.6% during that time. He finished the season with 111 wRC+ and .740 OPS across 44 games in the major leagues. Its 1.5 fWAR was 0.2 more than IKF 1.3, despite seeing 360 fewer protected areas.

Oswaldo Cabrera is a huge piece for this team going forward, and with questions surrounding the majority of players on this team for the first time in a while, it’s good to have confirmation that Oswaldo is ready to go at any time. His flexibility on the field will get him a lot of AB in huge moments, just as he should.

Postseason was a little tough on Waldo, but it was tough on the whole team. Everyone will ask, “Where’s Waldo?” and hopefully he’ll run around the bases a dozen or so times.

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