Sunday, May 07, 2006

Melky Time???

Gary Sheffield took a step back yesterday in regards to the condition of his wrist. Sheffield himself said the Disabled List is a possiblity. This could very well mean a callup for Melky Cabrera. It's just a matter of if the Yankees want to get at bats for Bubba Crosby or not, since if Melky comes up, he's starting. In Melky's 6 games in the Majors last year in a little over a week, he batted .211, made a horrible defensive play, and seemed immature in the clubhouse.

Cabrera batted .349 in Spring Training in 43 at bats, and when Joe Torre was asked about him he said "His confidence is there, you can see it. He looks like a different player." The 21-year outfielder is second in the International League batting race with a .364 average, just behind 27-year old Carlos Ruiz, who made his Major League debut Friday night with the Phillies.

Cabrera needs to make an impact with the Yankees soon, as outfield is the organization's deepest position. 22-year old Matt Garnder, playing in his first full season, leads the Florida State League with a .393 batting average and a .530 OBP. He may get called up to AA very shortly. 17-year old Jose Tabata is second in the South Atlantic league with a .370 average, playing along side 19-year old Austin Jackson who is batting .320. If Gardner gets called up and the Yankees move either Tabata or Jackson to Tampa, all four of these prospects will be playing centerfield (if Cabrera is in Columbus and not with the Yankees). This makes all of them potential replacements for Johnny Damon in 2010 (of course Damon could switch to DH in 2009 if one of them is ready).

How Cabrera does could have a large impact on the Yankee decision making this offseason, especially in regard to picking up Gary Sheffield's $13 million option. It's always possible the Yankees would pick it up anyway to keep his lethal bat for one more year, and put Sheffield at DH, while Cabrera takes rightfield.

If Cabrera gets called up, how he does could begin to shape the Yankees future outfield.

No comments: