Yankees’ veteran first baseman could have a big bounceback 2024 season

anthony rizzo, yankees
Apr 23, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Anthony Rizzo (48) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with teammates in the dugout during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have their infield set for the 2024 season, and they’re beaming with potential, featuring a mix of veteran prowess and youthful talent. With Anthony Rizzo at first base, Gleyber Torres at second, Anthony Volpe at shortstop, and DJ LeMahieu at third, the Yankees are looking to capitalize on this blend of experience and potential.

Rizzo’s Return and Impact

Anthony Rizzo, a key figure in the Yankees’ infield, is set for a comeback after his 2023 season was cut short due to concussion symptoms. General Manager Brian Cashman confirmed that Rizzo has been cleared for activity and is expected to participate fully in spring training.

Now 34 years old, the veteran lefty is hoping to turn back the clock and put together a strong 2024 season. He ended up hitting .244/.328/.378 last year over 99 games, but his numbers before the injury were something to behold. Leading up to May 27, Rizzo hit .305/.378/.513, recording 11 homers, 31 RBIs, and a 149 wRC+.

Rizzo’s absence was felt both offensively and defensively, as the Yankees struggled to fill the gap left by his departure. His return not only strengthens the team’s batting lineup but also solidifies their defensive setup, providing stability and leadership on the field.

Strategic Batting Order Placement

The upcoming season presents an opportunity for Rizzo to anchor the Yankees’ batting order, potentially batting in the cleanup or fifth spot. This positioning would leverage his patience and hitting ability to bolster the lower half of the lineup. The additions of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo are set to enhance the Yankees’ offensive output, offering manager Aaron Boone greater flexibility in constructing the lineup.

Rizzo’s consistent performance throughout his career, highlighted by his pre-injury success in 2023, underscores his value to the team. His ability to bounce back and contribute significantly will be crucial for the Yankees as they aim for a potent offensive display against opponents.

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Looking Ahead: Yankees’ Offensive Strategy

With a fully recovered Rizzo and the strategic acquisition of key players, the Yankees are well-equipped to present a formidable challenge to pitchers across the league. Rizzo’s role within the team, whether in the middle or lower part of the batting order, will be instrumental in maximizing the Yankees’ offensive potential.