The New York Yankees are still letting several position battles unfold with just nine spring training games remaining. Top prospects Anthony Volpe is in the mix to land on the 26-man roster, but that will be determined by the team’s strategy to either move Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa or reposition Oswald Peraza.
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Volpe has been nothing but excellent this spring, hitting .297 with a .422 OBP and .990 OPS, posting 11 hits with two homers, three RBIs, and stealing four bases across 37 at-bats. Torres playing in the WBC for Team Venezuela may have ended up hurting his stock with the Bombers since all of his reps have been handed over to Volpe, who’s taken the opportunity and run with it.
The Yankee brass is trying to determine the winners of these position battles, so general manager Brian Cashman is looking to receive unbiased feedback from his trusted advisors, whether it be scouts, executives, or coaches.
“We’ve already started the process with an email blast to individuals,” Cashman told The New York Post, “to get their feedback so no one gets biased by some stronger, higher-level, very-respected person giving an opinion [in the meeting] which could affect somebody else’s opinion. …So I’ve got all those collected and then we’ll be able to talk as a group.”
The Yankees are taking to email to determine several key position battles:
It seems the Yanks will make their coveted shortstop decision, among others, via email blast. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, as Cashman is trying to get information from all parties instead of taking the reins and making an executive choice, putting all the pressure on his shoulders.
Aside from shortstop, the Yankees are also trying to determine results in left field and in the bullpen. Aaron Hicks has had an up-and-down spring training, allowing several errors while hitting .290 with a .333 OBP, including nine hits and a homer. He started to heat up a bit over the past few days but has struck out nine times over his last six games. His batting average has slowly climbed since hitting a low of .231 just games days ago.
Traditionally, Hicks has been a solid defender throughout his career, so it has been uncharacteristic to see him drop a number of fly balls and lose them in the sun, landing in fair play.
At this point, Hicks still has a slight advantage, and with Harrison Bader fending off an oblique injury, I fully expect Hicks to start in the OF on Opening Day. The centerfield spot is still open for the taking, meaning Aaron Judge could shift over, and Oswaldo Cabrera could start in right field.
There are several different alignments that make sense based on the available information. Oswald Peraza leads the charge to win the starting shortstop job. Still, I wouldn’t rule out Volpe from securing a roster spot based on his apparent comfort against MLB talent.