3. Start Oswaldo Cabrera … for as Long as it Goes
Oswaldo Cabrera is the Yankees’ starting left fielder and that shouldn’t change. His bat has heated up with regular playing time and his defensive versatility has made him invaluable. There’s almost no world Yankees fans can envision with Cabrera on the bench for Game 1 of the ALDS.
But beyond that? He still should be playing every day. Whether it’s in left field or right field at third base, second base or shortstop, Cabrera’s switch-hitting bat should be in the lineup for as many playoff games he can physically suit up for. His presence gives the Yankees versatility to use a number of players at DH instead of locking Giancarlo Stanton into that spot.
Cabrera finished the season slashing .247/.312/.429 with a 109 OPS+, 21 runs scored, 6 home runs, 19 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 44 games — his first big-league action. He helps lengthen the Yankees lineup better than most who have tried to play the part. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him and has excelled given the circumstances.
That’s another reason Hicks can’t be here. Aaron Boone cannot have any sort of avenue to bench Cabrera outside of a horrible skid that costs the team on both sides of the ball.