NEW YORK — Oswaldo Cabrera hasn’t look like a newbie to left field. Would the Yankees rookie be ready to play there in the playoffs if needed?
“Yeah,” he said Friday, “we are working on things that we have to do right now.”
Cabrera was actually slated to play right field in Friday night’s game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
But the 23-year-old Venezuela native started there the previous three games as the Yankees search for a replacement for Andrew Benintendi, who is on the injured list with a broken right hand and might not be ready for the first round of the playoffs. He also came off the bench to play left Sept. 16 in Milwaukee
Cabrea hasn’t made error and has made four putouts.
“It’s different,” he said. “It’s different than the other positions, but if you work hard and pay attention about the details over there: the field, the hitters. You can play there.”
The Yankees have loved Cabrera’s defensive versatility. He’s played every position except for center field, pitcher and catcher since getting called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Going into Friday, he was hitting .357 (5-for-14) over his previous four games, including a grand slam.
Cabrera said learning to play left field hasn’t been “easy.”
“I think that we have to put the work in on the field every time,” he said. “You try not to have so much stuff in your mind. You don’t want to try too hard every time.
“We were training so much. Me and with the coaches three days in a row before I played left field, we were watching so many balls off the bat and off the fungo.”
With Aaron Judge chasing the single-season home run record of 62, there’s been a playoff-like atmosphere in the Bronx this week. He said he’s liked it.
“I’ve never been in a playoffs in the major leagues,” he said. “I’ve just been just one month here. But it feels so good watching the people standing up when Judge is coming to the plate, it’s so amazing to watch that. We enjoy that.”
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Brendan Kuty may be reached at email@example.com.