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What to Expect From Prospect Oswaldo Cabrera With Yankees

Cabrera is a switch-hitter with pop, a versatile defender that's poised to provide a spark in pinstripes.
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NEW YORK — After scoring 10 unanswered runs in a dramatic comeback victory on Tuesday night, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders infielder Oswaldo Cabrera was celebrating with his Triple-A teammates in the visitor's clubhouse at CHS Field in St. Paul.

That's when he heard the news that he was headed to the Bronx, called up for his MLB debut.

"That was a perfect moment," Cabrera said at his new locker in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. "When they told me with everybody there, that was amazing."

Cabrera was one of three players promoted from the RailRiders to the Yankees on Wednesday. Outfielder Estevan Florial and reliever Ron Marinaccio were also recalled, replacing the spots of Miguel Andújar, Tim Locastro and Clay Holmes on the active roster. Andújar and Locastro were optioned while Holmes was placed on the 15-day injured list.

For Cabrera, New York's No. 14 prospect per MLB Pipeline, this isn't a case of an asset being called up to fill in at the big-league level, briefly occupying a roster spot before returning to the farm. Cabrera is poised to play a role early and often in pinstripes, providing a boost for a club that's lost 11 of their last 13 games.

"He's someone we're really excited about," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We've always loved his makeup and really like what he brings to the table as a switch-hitter, impacts the ball and really is a good infielder wherever you put him."

Cabrera, 23, will start on Wednesday night against the Rays at third base, but he's played primarily at shortstop and second base in the minors. Boone pointed out that Cabrera has been working on his defense in the outfield this year as well, making him even more versatile and flexible.

Considering Yankees like Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres and more have struggled lately—and DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter have been impacted by injuries—there's an avenue for Cabrera to secure playing time.

Asked if the coaching staff has specified what his role with this team will look like going forward, Cabrera said he's been told just to play his game. After all, that's what's gotten him to this point, a result of yet another strong season within the organization.

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"No one's expecting or counting on them being the revelation that turns us around," Boone said, linking in Florial as well. "Go be a part of this team and you're here because yeah, we want to spark and we want to get things going obviously offensively, but they're here because they've earned their way here and we feel like moving forward, they give us a couple of good pieces that can help us win ballgames."

It just so happens that Cabrera has been swinging a hot bat as he continues to distance himself from a shoulder injury. In the month of August, Cabrera is batting  .381/.438/.571 with nine RBI, four runs scored and 24 total bases (across 11 games). 

Overall, Cabrera was hitting .262/.340/.492 in 47 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year with eight home runs, 29 RBI, 29 runs scored, 12 doubles and 10 steals.

Even with the quick turnaround ahead of his debut in the last 24 hours, Cabrera said his parents were able to fly in to New York to watch him don pinstripes for the first time.

"They’re coming from Wichita," he said with a huge grin. "My brother plays Double-A with the Minnesota Twins and they were watching my brother there."

If Cabrera can bring his recent hot streak to the Bronx, continuing to play solid defense across the diamond while flashing some slug at the plate, his family will have plenty of opportunities to see him play at this level this season and beyond.

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