The Yankees’ shortstop position battle has taken a big turn

anthony volpe, oswald peraza, yankees

The talk of the town revolves around Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza for the New York Yankees. Management is having a difficult time deciding who will be their starting shortstop, despite the fact that Peraza and Volpe were expected to start alongside each other at some point during the 2023 season.

It seems as if that entire narrative has shifted and they are both competing against one another, which indicates a pretty big change in strategy for manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman.

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The Yankees are stuck between a rock and a hard place:

Peraza has had an inconsistent spring, trying to iron out a few offensive liabilities. His floor is a Gold Glove level shortstop, but he’s struggled in the batter’s box this spring. Across 39 at-bats, he’s hitting .205 with a .311 OBP, posting eight hits, a homer, and stealing two bases. The 22-year-old earned a rather critical review from Boone, which is a rarity given his style of management.

“For the most part, he’s been all right. Yesterday, he didn’t have great at-bats. Working on a little, small mechanical thing. When he gets his load in the right way, he’s pretty good. He’s been OK. He’s been OK. He’s impacted a few balls. Yesterday was the first day where I didn’t feel like his at-bats were great. Otherwise, whether he gets a result or not, the at-bats are all right.”

Via MLB.com.

Given how excellent Volpe has looked over the past few weeks if the Yankees can only justify starting one of them, it should be their No. 1, despite Peraza having an extra year of minor league action under his belt.

Whereas Boone was critical of Peraza, just a few days ago he was gushing over Volpe’s qualities as a lead-off hitter, noting his ability to control the strike zone and his plate discipline for such a young player at 21.

“His future lies in hitting at the top or the middle of the order. He controls the strike zone. Obviously a really good hitter. In his case, a really good base runner, base stealer,” Boone said of Volpe. “So I envision him as a future top or middle of the order [hitter], but I envision DJ [LeMahieu] leading off.”

The belief is that Volpe could play second base and Peraza at shortstop, making Gleyber Torres expendable in a prospective trade. However, the Yankees have found themselves picking between the two prospects instead of leveraging Torres in a deal, which is undoubtedly an interesting narrative shift.

Management has only five days until Opening Day to make a decision, so they are quickly running out of time.