Earlier in the offseason, the New York Yankees had implied that veteran outfielder Aaron Hicks would get most of the playing time in left field.
He had a rough couple of years in 2021 and 2022 with injuries and poor performance, yet the organization seems ready to let him play even over superior options.
Well, manager Aaron Boone is keeping him on the bench for the Opening Day game against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Oswaldo Cabrera, who has a much better case to play the majority of games in left, is starting there in the first game of the season.
“Aaron Boone said he went with Oswaldo Cabrera in LF because he’s ‘earned it.’ Said he liked what he saw from Cabrera the past few weeks at the plate and expects him to have a job role this season,” Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweeted.
Aaron Boone said he went with Oswaldo Cabrera in LF because he’s “earned it.” Said he liked what he saw from Cabrera the past few weeks at the plate and expects him to have a job role this season.
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) March 30, 2023
Hicks had a good spring, slashing .293/.408/.390 with a .798 OPS.
However, he is no longer a power threat: he had just eight homers in 453 plate appearances last year, and a poor .313 slugging percentage.
He had only one long ball in the spring, too.
Cabrera, on the other hand, hit .333/.390/.611 with four blasts, 14 RBI and a 1.001 OPS in exhibition play.
This after going yard six times in just 171 plate appearances last year with the Yanks.
Evidently, Cabrera has more pop, youth, upside, and is even a better defender at this point.
There is no reason why he shouldn’t be getting the majority of starts in left field.
That will be the case, at least for the first assignment of the year.NEXT: Yankees Manager Offers A Mysterious Claim Before Opening Day