Yankees give the SS to Oswaldo Cabrera in his most important game

In their biggest game of the season, Game 4 of the American League Division Series, the Yankees didn’t play shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, their regular shortstop all season. Instead, Venezuelan rookie Oswaldo Cabrera started in position six.

Cabrera is the first player to start a postseason game at shortstop with his team facing elimination after having logged fewer than 30 innings (between regular season and postseason) at that position in the Major Leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. . The 23-year-old rookie has played 28 short innings since he was called up by the Yankees.

Cabrera, like so many times this season, no matter what position he was placed in, responded by smoothly managing his defensive opportunities, including a double play during the Yankees 4-2 win to force Game 5 on Monday in the Bronx.

Asked after the game if Cabrera would be back at shortstop Monday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone replied: “Yes, probably.”

Kiner-Falefa, who started 131 times for the Yankees in the regular round and in the first three games this round against Cleveland, has committed 15 errors on the season and also hasn’t fared well in defensive metrics like Outs Over Statcast Average, where he finished -2 ​​in the SS after leaving -6 last year.

The Saturday vs. ClevelandKiner-Falefa had another bad day, the trigger for the Yankees to decide to remove him from the lineup.

“Personally, I’m disappointed in myself,” Kiner-Falefa told after Game 3. “I feel like he had a chance to make some key plays tonight and help the team win. And I couldn’t do them. I feel like those were big runs that cost us the game tonight. So it’s up to me to accept responsibility.”

Cabrera, signed by the Yankees in 2015, has 175 games of experience as a shortstop in the minors, but the position he has played the most during his professional career on New York farms is second base (234 games.

With the big team, the Guarenas-born youngster has defended right field, left field, first base, second base and third base this year.

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