Oswaldo Cabrera gets start in left over unpopular Aaron Hicks
Aaron Hicks, not in the Opening Day lineup, heard it from Yankees fans regardless.
The outfielder, among the least popular players when it comes to the Bronx faithful, was greeted with his share of boos during pregame introductions before Thursday’s season-opening 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants at the Stadium (third baseman Josh Donaldson also heard some boos during the intros).
Rookie utilityman Oswaldo Cabrera got the start in leftfield instead of Hicks — he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts — and Aaron Boone indicated beforehand there will be more of that to come.
“I just feel like Oswaldo’s kind of earned it,” Boone said. “Obviously, what he was able to do for us last year and then he came in and had a really good spring. As did Aaron [Hicks]. I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from Hicks, especially the last couple of weeks of spring training, where I feel like the at-bats, the edge, everything has been there. So he’s going to play a huge role. This is just Opening Day, but I just felt like Oswaldo is a guy who has earned that right to be in there.”
Pitch clock impact
It is a one-game sample size, but the pitch clock certainly seemed to have an effect in the season opener, which was played in 2 hours, 33 minutes.
Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Kyle Higashioka . . . With his 11 strikeouts Thursday, that made it 43 games since the start of the 2019 season in which Gerrit Cole has recorded double-digit strikeouts, the most such games in the majors in that time . . . The Yankees improved to 68-52-1 on Opening Day, including 38-18-1 at home. They’re 5-1 in their last six Opening Day games . . . Gleyber Torres’ two-run home run in the fourth marked his first Opening Day home run. It was the 99th homer of his career. . . . After the game, the Yankees announced they had acquired righthander Colten Brewer from the Rays in exchange for cash considerations. Brewer, who had been sent to minor-league camp with the Rays and triggered an assignment clause in his contract, will be added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster.