Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera posts second straight three-hit game

OAKLAND, Calif. — Even when Oswaldo Cabrera got off to a 3-for-19 with no walks and nine strikeouts in his first five MLB games, Yankees manager Aaron Boone sounded confident the rookie would find his way at the plate, saying the at-bats were better than the numbers indicated.

And the fact the 23-year-old was showing off his ability at three different positions over those five games masked some of his potential issues offensively.

Now, Cabrera is getting results at the plate, as well.

He had his second straight three-hit game Friday night in the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Athletics.

Oswaldo Cabrera legs out a triple during the third inning of the Yankees' 3-2 win over the A's.
Oswaldo Cabrera legs out a triple during the third inning of the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the A’s.

Cabrera tripled to right field against left-hander JP Sears in the third inning and added singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Even when he made an out, it was a liner to right in the eighth.

The youngster also made a fine running catch in right field. His only mistake came when he got picked off in the sixth.

Cabrera has also now started at four different spots on the field — second base, third base and shortstop, as well as right field.

And he hasn’t struck out in his past five games.

Cabrera also has provided the Yankees with a switch-hitter, something they were lacking with Aaron Hicks practically glued to the bench while in a disastrous slump.

It’s what the Yankees were looking for when they promoted Cabrera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to serve in a utility role.

But that’s not all.

“For a very young player, he plays free and easy for it being his first taste of the big leagues,’’ Boone said Friday. “That’s not always easy to come by. … You can tell he loves playing the game.”

Since his arrival, he has been a regular in the lineup, helping spell DJ LeMahieu (still dealing with a sore toe), as well as serve as outfield depth with Hicks struggling and Giancarlo Stanton not ready to return to the field after missing over a month with left Achilles tendinitis.

Cabrera’s average exit velocity is 89.4 mph, just behind LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo (89.6), and ahead of Andrew Benintendi (89.2) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (86.4).

“He’s fun to watch,’’ Stanton said of the rookie whom the Yankees signed out of Venezuela in 2015 for $100,000, in the same class — and for the same deal — as Deivi Garcia.

Cabrera has hit well since the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19, posting an OPS of .803 with Double-A Somerset, where he spent most of last season, after not playing above High-A before 2021.

He continued to produce in a nine-game stint with SWB last season and did so again this year, with an .832 OPS in 47 games at Triple-A before his promotion to The Bronx.

“He looks comfortable and confident on both sides,’’ said one AL scout. “It’s too early to say if it’s sustainable, but there are things to like about him.’’

And he has provided a bit of a boost to a team that was lagging.

The Yankees have won five straight games — with Cabrera starting and contributing in all of them.

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