Oswaldo Cabrera continued to make an impact with his bat Friday night, hitting his fifth homer in his last 16 games to represent the Yankees’ lone offense in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles in the Bronx.
With a 2-for-3 night, Cabrera improved to 20-for-61 (.328) over his last 17 games while becoming an everyday player for manager Aaron Boone.
Cabrera started in left field on Friday before moving to shortstop in the eighth inning (with Isiah Kiner-Falefa moving to third when DJ LeMahieu came out of the game). It was the 18th straight start for Cabrera, who also lined up at second base and right field during that streak.
As Andrew Benintendi races against the clock to recover from a broken hook, Cabrera, 23, is putting himself in position to potentially become the Yankees’ starting outfielder in the ALDS. According to Boone, Bentintendi is expected to start with dry swings on Saturday as he tries to come back from a fractured hook to the hamate bone in his right wrist.
Aaron Hicks has also produced more often lately when starting in left field (with Cabrera moving to the right when Aaron Judge plays center or serves as DH).
“He exceeded what I expected,” Boone said of Cabrera. “He’s really, with some of the injuries we’ve had, become a fixture in the lineup.”
Frankie Montas is set to start pitching on Saturday after receiving a second cortisone injection in his troublesome right shoulder. It’s unclear what role, if any, the right-hander will have in the playoffs, since Boone has previously said he’ll likely be limited to being an opener even if he can pitch in the playoffs.
Matt Carpenter (fractured left foot) is “ready to start punching,” Boone said.
The Yankees and Carpenter will decide in the coming days whether it makes more sense to activate it for this Texas series or have it at the alternate team site they are setting up in Double-A Somerset to keep players ready. for the playoffs.
Boone said Carpenter would be limited to a few at-bats in Texas but would face more live pitches with Somerset for a week, so the team was leaning towards the alternate site.
Carpenter showed he didn’t need much time to prepare earlier in the season, when he signed with the Yankees after being released by Rangers and was able to contribute immediately.
Michael King says he won’t need Tommy John surgery and should be ready for spring training.
All about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:
The right-hander fractured his right elbow in July and will undergo another X-ray, likely in November.
“I don’t plan on running out of time, which is great,” King said. “I just need to wait for the bone to fully heal.”
The Yankees held a minute’s silence for Hector Lopez, who died Friday at age 93. Lopez, who played the outfield, as well as second and third bases, spent eight seasons with the Yankees from 1959 to 1966 and won two World Series titles.
The Panama native also coached in their minor league system and was Triple-A’s first black manager.
The Yankees-Orioles game — and potentially Aaron Judge’s 62-home run — could be affected by weather on Saturday. “It looks bad,” Boone said. “We will see.”
New York Post