Oswaldo Cabrera's regression to begin 2023 continues Yankees' disastrous narrative
Let's talk regressions, New York Yankees fans! Because that's what has plagued the team since the 2020 season. The most unforeseen and drastic instances have occurred in the Bronx, which, at this point, we're not so sure is a coincidence.
It's happening again in 2023, specifically with Oswaldo Cabrera, who had a promising start to his MLB career in 2022 when he hit .247 with a .740 OPS, 21 runs scored, 6 home runs and 19 RBI (in addition to playing defense at multiple positions at a high level) across 44 games.
Then came the postseason, where he hit a clutch two-run homer on the road against the Guardians and continued filling in on defense wherever needed. That showcase had fans (and likely the organization) optimistic for 2023.
But through Thursday's action, Cabrera is hitting just .196 with a .499 OPS and 39 OPS+ in 28 games. He has only four extra-base hits.
Though there's some good news -- the defense is still there, the hustle is very much prominent, and the positive attitude continues to grab the attention of fans -- if we're staring down the barrel of another inexplicable backslide from a player who was supposed to be integral, it's going to be a long season.
Oswaldo Cabrera's regression continues Yankees' disastrous narrative
Dating back to 2020, Yankees fans witnessed countless players such as Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar, Mike Tauchman, Gary Sánchez, Mike Ford, Gleyber Torres, Joey Gallo, Aaron Hicks, and Josh Donaldson completely fall off a cliff. In some instances injuries played a role, but in most of them it was simply the disappearance of once-productive play.
And that doesn't even include the pitching staff! We could easily double that list if we include the team's starters and relievers over the last three years.
The manner in which Cabrera looks downright lost can be compared to the aforementioned names, which makes this all the more concerning. The same thing is happening and there's not a clue why, unless you count "trying to do too much" as something relevant.
This isn't a knock on Cabrera. It's just the bizarre cosmic fate of this team ever since the conclusion of the 2019 season, which was derailed when all of Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman and Luis Severino couldn't get fully healthy for the postseason.
Cabrera has more than 80% of the season to turn it around, but he's one of the prominent reasons the Yankees are in their current rut, which makes it worse because his struggles are more maximized than they theoretically should be.