Friday, September 30, 2022

The next meaningful game is Oct. 11. In the meantime, who's in left?

Thanks to the owners, who cut their lockout losses by adding an extra round of playoffs, the Yankees will play their next meaningful game Oct. 11. 

They'll host the winner of the Cleveland-v-Whomever (BJs, Rays, or Mariners) series. That gives us nearly two weeks of Netflix, hateful political ads and exhibition games - without the expanded rosters of past Septembers, which gave our only glimpses of Andrew Brackman and Tolia Soliata. 

Aside from letting Aaron Judge swing away, what should the Yankees do over the next 11 days? One key matter: Settle the question of left field. 

Who's in left? Oswaldo Cabrera or Aaron Hicks? 

Okay, I know this is blaspheme, considering Hicksy's horrible, terrible, rotten, no-good season. But but but... over the last few weeks, he's heated up.

Last 28 Days:
Hicks: .254 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs.
Cabrera: .247 with 4 HRs and 15 RBIs.

Extra weird: Both are switch-hitters. 

Throughout his career, Hicks has always hit better from the right side. (.248 vs .225 from the left, though his OBP is practically the same.)

Over the 2022 season, batting RH:
Hicks: .250 with 2 HRs and 13 RBIs.
Cabrera: .320 with 0 HRs and 2 RBIs. (But only 28 ABs)

Over the 2022 season, batting LH: 
Hicks: .215 with 6 HRs and 27 RBIs.
Cabrera: .224 with 4 HRs and 15 RBIs.

It's almost a draw. But you could argue that Hicks should hit against lefties, and Oswaldo against righties.  

You might think this matter is easy: Whomever is hot should get the nod. Unfortunately, hot and cold won't be a factor. The Yankees will sit idle for an entire week - after these final meaningless games - while the wild card teams play their fingers to the nubs. 

We will be tanned, rested and serviced, but will they be meaner and blueball hornier - and thus, more dangerous?

Is Hicks, the veteran, more likely to stay dialed-in over a week of lying fallow? Or is Cabrera, the guileful rookie, more likely to stay hot? 

Or should they share the role?

Note: This assumes that a) Andrew Benintendi cannot return, b) Giancarlo Stanton is done playing the OF, and c) Matt Carpenter - a longshot anyway - would only be available as a DH, which renders him useless. The Yankee outfield would be Judge, Bader, Hicks, Cabrera and maybe Locastro. 

So, in left... it's Hicks or Oswaldo. Or both?  


JM said...


borntorun999 said...

Sorry (not sorry) just can’t trust Hicks. Cabrera still awfully green at the plate at this point, especially in the high pressure situation of a playoff, so the short answer would be neither, but then what? It was supposed to Benintendi (who somehow broke a bone just swinging a bat) but he won’t be available, so we make do with our only options. But rather than a strict platoon, I’d suggest a mix and match approach based on ballpark, pitcher, etc. Problem is, Boone would undoubtedly favor Hicks, as he is forever a victim of his own preconceptions. Analytics could be a guide, NOT A DICTATOR, in these situations, but isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing already? This begs the questions, if we are so heavily invested in analytics, why do we use them so ineffectively?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

If Hicks starts, at least he won't be pinch-hitting in critical situations. Sort of a dingy silver lining.

But I have to ask:

"tanned, rested and serviced"???

13bit said...

I know that this is a nice, collegial discussion on the merits of these two gentlemen, but my answer is going to be brief:

Send Hicksy to clean the toilets in the bleachers and never let him on the field.

I don't care how he's been the past two weeks.

That being said, since every move on the field is really to reinforce Cashman's ego, we know he will start.

Next question?

el duque said...


You know, like an oil change and lube.

13bit said...

"serviced," like an old sump pump that just had its gasket replaced, but still wheezes away when it's operating.

Celerino Sanchez said...

You know that Austin "Hot Licks" Hicks will be playing everyday. Booney will not want to hurt his feelings. Plus he had a hit a few weeks ago, so he's ready to break out.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I was thinking more like 'serviced' in that special room at the club near the airport.

JM said...

Look, Hicks has been good the past coupla weeks. So let him play. We're always decrying taking guys out of the lineup when they're hot. Hicks is as hot as he gets.

Also, we know that every period of Hicks getting hot is followed by a visit to the IL. Not that I wish anything bad on him, but you know...

JM said...

And Cabrera has performed out of the gate no matter where they put him. Why wouldn't we play him in a platoon, at the least? Aren't we always carping about how the Yankees bring up young players who, after they've proved themselves, are replaced by "stars" coming back from injuries?

What does the kid have to do to earn a little faith? Given what he's done so far, I cannot see him folding under postseason pressure. I mean, he's not Cole.

Doug K. said...

Oswaldo's head is always in the game.

He may make mistakes due to inexperience but never due to "thinking about something else".

More range, better arm. Kid's a gamer.

I give him all the starts.

JM said...

That would be fine with me, too, Doug.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

I'd roll with Little "O" over Hicks but knowing the Yankees they will take the experience over the rookie for all the wrong reasons.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ah, a reference to Tony Solaita, the Samoan Strongman!

Hit 51 home runs for the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms in the Carolina League, in 1968. Yanks brought him up for his one at-bat with them that September, against the Tigers. I happened to see it for some reason. He struck out.

Didn't make it to the majors until 1974. Had an okay but limited career in the majors, then hit a lot of home runs in Japan for the team with my favorite name, the Nippon Ham Fighters. Terrible end—got shot in the back in a land dispute back in Samoa. Just 43.

HoraceClarke66 said...

DEFINITELY play Oswaldo. If that doesn't work, play Oswald. If that doesn't work, have roth wax the king for a while. Thank you, thank you very much!

Joe of AZ said...

Fuck Hicks.... Cabrera has aced the "eye" test as far as hits at bats with RISP

The Hammer of God said...

This is a no-brainer. Who was it who helped right the sinking ship? Oswaldo Cabrera. He should play every game. End of story. Hicks either plugs in to some other spot, or he sits on the bench.