Home News Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera ‘trying to do too much’ during slump

Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera ‘trying to do too much’ during slump

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Oswaldo Cabrera is trying to get his season and his batted balls off the ground.

The Yankees utilityman is mired in a deep slump, his average dipping below .200 with only one home run in 28 games, and is trying to adjust a swing that is pounding too many balls into the ground.

Cabrera, who impressed after his September call-up last season, is actually hitting balls harder this year than in 2022.

But according to FanGraphs, 48.6 percent of his batted balls have been ground balls — up from 28.2 percent in his 44 games in the majors last year — which is a recipe for keeping his production low.

“We are focusing on that and making the adjustments,” Cabrera said this week about the ground-ball issue. “The last couple series I’ve been doing much better with it.”

Cabrera opened the season as the starting left fielder, having won the job over Aaron Hicks in spring, and hit well for a couple weeks while also showing off his defensive versatility.

He already has played everywhere on the field except catcher, pitcher and center field.

Oswaldo Cabrera, pictured in April, has struggled to string together hits for the Yankees this season.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

But in his past 10 games, Cabrera is 3-for-29, dropping his season average to .196.

“I know that I’m trying to do too much,” the 24-year-old said. “And when I try to do too much, I’m getting the ball into the ground.”

His defensive flexibility affords him various opportunities to crack into lineups.

But with center fielder Harrison Bader off the injured list (presuming he is OK after his ninth-inning collision with Isiah Kiner-Falefa on Wednesday) and with Willie Calhoun and Jake Bauers perhaps emerging, starts in the outfield could be more difficult to come by.

Calhoun has homered in two straight games, and Bauers, who crushed nine home runs in 21 Triple-A games, smacked his first as a Yankee on Wednesday.

Even the light-hitting Kiner-Falefa, who has begun playing left field, has hit more than Cabrera recently.

Oswaldo Cabrera singles during a recent game against the Guardians.
Oswaldo Cabrera singles during a recent game against the Guardians.
Getty Images

It is possible Cabrera sees more infield time with Josh Donaldson remaining out, but it would be difficult for Aaron Boone to justify much time for Cabrera if his bat does not turn around — especially because Cabrera is not walking, either, with four walks and 19 strikeouts.

“I don’t think he’s far off,” the Yankees manager said this week. “I think with a lot of hitters, but I think with Oswaldo, it’s about the pitches you do get something to do with. He’s probably fouled off more than he should.

“He’s a worker, he’s a grinder. He’ll get there.”

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