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  • Tim Kabel

About Spring Training: “I Don’t Know” is On Third Base

About Spring Training: “I Don’t Know” is On Third Base

By Tim Kabel

March 21, 2024

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One week from today, the Yankees will open the regular season in Houston against the Astros. Due to a bone bruise on his right foot, DJ LeMahieu looks doubtful for that game. Due to the severity of the injury, his age, his injury history, and the fact that it's only the first game, it seems unlikely that he will play. With LeMahieu not able to play, the old Abbott and Costello routine, “Who's on First” becomes prophetic because “I Don't Know” will be playing third base for the Yankees on Opening Day.


If we restrict ourselves to people who are currently on the active roster for the Yankees, Oswaldo Cabrera would seem to be the logical choice. He has played third base many times before. He will most likely make the team as he has been hitting reasonably well in Spring Training and he can play every defensive position other than catcher. That being said, of the limited options the Yankees have currently, Cabrera is the most likely to play third base on Opening Day.


At this point, LeMahieu’s injury seems unlikely to land him on the injured list. He will most likely only miss a few games. Therefore, the Yankees probably will not open another roster spot for someone else. Kevin Smith is another option but, he is not on the 40-man roster. He might make the team out of spring training but I don't know that he would play over Oswaldo Cabrera on Opening Day.


It is possible, perhaps even likely, that the Yankees will sign or trade for someone outside of the organization to fill a backup infielder role. It seems likely that Oswaldo Cabrera will make the team but, at this point, he appears to be the backup at every position other than catcher. The Yankees need someone else.


I think this will be a situation similar to  those we have seen in the past. Another team will cut an infielder loose and the Yankees will scoop him up. They have done this before whether it is simply signing the player or making a trade.


If LeMahieu is only going to miss a couple of games, I would have no problem playing Oswaldo Cabrera at third base on Opening Day and until the LeMahieu gets back. I happen to like Cabrera and think he will have a better year this year than he did last year. However, the Yankees have a waif-thin bench. They need to address that and they need to do it quickly.


Having “I Don't Know” as your third baseman worked perfectly fine for Abbott and Costello but, it will not work for the Yankees. They need a stronger bench because it's highly likely that LeMahieu or Rizzo might go down with an injury. At this point, LeMahieu, in addition to playing third base. is also the primary backup at first base and second base. If he is the one who is out, that creates major problems. You would have to have Cabrera fill in for him, but then who would be available if you needed someone at second or first?


I would expect the Yankees to do some tweaking to the roster before Opening Day. They should have done it sooner but, they didn't. That doesn't mean they still don't need to address it. They do.


It is also not a harbinger of good things that LeMahieu is already missing days. I know it's a bone bruise from a foul ball but still, he has had problems with his legs and feet before that seemed to linger. They certainly don't need him to miss a significant amount of time. Nor do they need him to try to be heroic and play through an injury. That rarely works and it almost never works with him. He usually winds up making things significantly worse.


At this point, the Yankees don't need “I Don't Know” at third base. They need to know who it will be, and they need to develop a plan to strengthen the roster.

11 comments

11 則留言


Alan B.
Alan B.
3月21日

Yes, lots of guys will be cut over the next week, so there will be those guys available, and there will also be guys who ended up on a bench because they lost a competition, who could be traded for as well. Those 2 ways is how the Yankees ended up wit Trevino ('22) and Cordero ('23)' But it amazes me, at just how many want anyone but Cabrera at 3B for even the first road trip of the season. Solano has been out there but even after Peraza went down, the Yankees never signed him. Oh, did you know a few years ago he spent a year at SWB, so the Yankees have an idea already what he c…


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Lincoln Mitchell
Lincoln Mitchell
3月21日

JD Davis, who is a better option at third base than DJ was available basically for free. He ended up going to the A's, a terrible team in a pitcher's park. Am pretty sure Davis would have been happier to come to the Yankees if they had made him an offer. Shortly after Cole got hurt, Blake Snell signed a contract way below what many thought he would get. The Yankees would have had to throw a few more million bucks at him, but could have signed him. This front office is either asleep at the wheel, not committed to winning or both.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
3月21日
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Here are THREE possibilities for 3B:


1.) Evan Longoria is still available as a free agent. He may be 38 years old, and only a PART TIME player, but he proved several times during the most recent post season that he is still a very good defensive 3B. As a PART TIME player, he didn't do too badly, hitting 11 homers in 74 games. He said at this stage of his career, he is more than willing to be a PART TIME backup player. He can backup DJ at 3B, or play 3B when DJ backs up Rizzo at 1B, Torres at 2B, or Torres can backup Volpe at SS, with DJ playing 2B. One problem with this opt…


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fuster
3月21日

with only Cabrera on the 26-man roster readily available to serve as the third-string 3B, the Yankees are dangerously thin and might have to rely on a temporary call-up of someone on the 40-man roster.


I'm somewhat reassured about how Cashman acquired a bunch of stop-gap players during the off-season


but overall I feel a sense of creeping dread about how the organization continues to scrimp and tries to get by with a measly 26 players on the active roster

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jjw49
3月21日
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Cabrera can play the position until DJ returns ... frankly not the worst case scenario.

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Melfman1
Melfman1
3月21日

Kind of surprised they didn’t try to get Santiago Espinal once he was dropped by Toronto. But then again, maybe they wouldn’t deal him within the division. I still think they should sign Donovan Solano.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
3月21日
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E.J. has been a supporter of Solano for a long time as well.

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