We thought we loved Yankees spark plug Oswaldo Cabrera the most anyone could possibly love Oswaldo Cabrera. Then, we met Harold Reynolds on Thursday, who it seems has faith in Cabrera to do literally anything entering the first postseason of his career.
Entering 2022, Cabrera seemed poised to be a near-immediate difference-maker after socking 29 home runs between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. A shortened spring training cut into his chance to make an impact immediately, though, and an early-season injury delayed his arrival.
But when he got his sea legs under him … whew, boy. Playing unfamiliar position after unfamiliar position with apparent ease, Cabrera became the poster boy for the Yankees’ next generation of offensive talent, arriving ahead of Oswald Peraza and staking his claim as a must-play postseason piece.
In left field, that is, a position he’s barely played in his life, but already excels at, along with providing a .287 average and .901 OPS in his past 25 games.
Reynolds began his MLB Network segment by praising Cabrera as the starting left fielder moving forward and proposing him as the only possible player who could hit leadoff and displace Aaron Judge. But then, the expectations may have gotten a little too high.
Harold Reynolds thinks Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera could play center field
Things got crazy when host Greg Amsinger brought up Andrew Benintendi’s potential return. Who leads off if Benny works his way back, too?
According to Reynolds, it’d still be Cabrera and — get this — in order to accommodate Benintendi, the MLB Network analyst would move the rookie directly to center field. He’s never been there before! Never.
Wait. So Reynolds really wants to displace Harrison Bader? Don’t worry, he’s thought of that — and the answer is yes!
Never mind that Judge shifting to center and Cabrera moving to right, a spot he’s occupied “plenty” this season, would probably be the solution here. Bader, the man the Yankees imported specifically to play defense in the postseason, is getting benched, just like that?
There really isn’t room for this whole charade, but on the oft chance Benintendi does return, it’ll probably be for the ALCS. Cabrera? He’ll be your starting left fielder and probably won’t move around too much outside of some occasional late-inning defensive shuffling. And that’s more than enough.
But it’s nice to know people love him!