Yankees rookies show they can step up in big spots

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New York Yankees right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera makes a catch on a fly ball hit by Minnesota Twins’ Gio Urshela during the 11th inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

For a pair of rookie Yankees, Wednesday was the showing that should give any fan confidence about what’s in the pipeline. 

Oswaldo Cabrera, who has had a near-immediate impact, had the game-winning hit in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins and snapped a six-game stretch that saw him go hitless. 

Oswald Peraza had four hits combined in the doubleheader, including a double in the second game, and had a strong showing at shortstop. The Yankees played three rookies during the course of the doubleheader, a surprise with so much on the line at this point in the season, but manager Aaron Boone saw a lot from the youngsters that he was happy about.

“Obviously we’ve hit a stretch where we’ve had some attrition and we’ve lost some guys and we’re down some guys,” Boone explained. “That creates some opportunities and I think we’re seeing a number of guys that look like they want to take advantage of it and they’re talented players in their own right. And today was a really good day for them.” 

While New York has struggled over the second half of the season, the Yankees had seen a jolt from some of the guys they’ve called up. Cabrera in particular quickly enthralled himself with the Yankee fans with his all-out hustle in the field and at the plate. 

The charging catch that sent him sailing into the tarp last month had been quickly compared to a similar play by Derek Jeter.

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 “They’re great players. Nice to have around,” Isiah Kiner-Falefa said about the younger players. “You go out there and you make everyone better. Everybody is pushing each other and I think that healthy competition for playing time is really helping everybody.” 

Among the rest of the group of prospects that New York has in the pipeline, the success of those already in the Bronx has to be an encouraging sign of what is to come. Shortstop Anthony Volpe is listed as the fifth best prospect among Major League Baseball clubs and could soon find his way to the Bronx.