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  • Derek McAdam

Don’t Count On This Yankee Making the Opening Day Roster

By Derek McAdam

March 15, 2023


As the Yankees are nearing the conclusion of Spring Training, the ultimately roster decisions will need to be made. While at the start of Spring Training it seemed as if the Yankees’ Opening Day roster was pretty much a given, several injuries will cause the Yankees to have to reconsider, especially amongst the pitching staff.

However, one area that the Yankees will have a surplus of the begin the season are infielders. The current infield roster includes Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Josh Donaldson. However, Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera are also in the mix to play the infield, in addition to top prospect Anthony Volpe, who is having a very nice Spring Training.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Volpe was hitting .321 with a couple of home runs and RBIs and has shown good potential at the plate. Not only has Volpe been able to hit, but he’s shown that he can work the count and is a threat on the bases. Not to mention that he flashes a solid glove at shortstop. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s the most-hyped Yankee prospect since Torres came up in 2018. What makes it even more special is that he’s a New Jersey-native who was drafted by the Yankees and has never been elsewhere.

Yankee fans have been advocating on social media for Brian Cashman to include Volpe on the Opening Day roster, as the 21-year-old is making a strong case to be included in the talks. However, Yankee fans will have to realize that Volpe making the Opening Day roster is a long-shot to happen, for several reasons.

First, and foremost, Cashman and the Yankee organization are going to try and use the arbitration system to get an extra year of team control on Volpe. It is somewhat of a controversial decision to make, but it’s not a terrible idea to consider. After all, the Yankees did this exact move with Torres in 2018, where they called him up at the end of April and were able to add an extra year of arbitration to his deal. I would expect the same move to be made with Volpe.

Second, management is going to say that Volpe is not ready to face Major League talent 100% of the time and needs some time in Triple-A to get warmed up. Again, it may not be a popular take amongst Yankee fans, but it’s not a bad decision to make. Sure, I understand the argument of bringing Volpe up and just see what he can do. The Yankees did it before with Aaron Judge, who managed to have a disappointing month and a half at the end of the 2016 season. Volpe can do the same, right?

Volpe definitely could, but going back to the first argument, the Yankees are not going to put Volpe on the Opening Day roster unless they are 100% sure that he is ready to go and are ready to begin his service time. He has only 22 games under his belt at the Triple-A level, and saw his stats take a little hit after making the shift from Double-A Somerset.

Lastly, as of now, the Yankees have yet to make any trades to help gut the infield roster. If they do not do so by Opening Day, there is absolutely no way that Volpe would make the team with the surplus of infielders, unless someone goes down with an injury. It would probably not just take one injury, but several to occur, since the Yankees can always put Cabrera in the infield, if needed.

It does seem as if the Yankees are going to end up trading Kiner-Falefa at some point, but will they do so before the end of Spring Training or wait until the regular season to do so? That question remains to be seen, if it even occurs at all.

Yankee fans, I’m with you. I cannot wait to see this young man make his Major League debut with the club, and it definitely seems as if it’s going to happen this season. But, let’s just give it some time and see how things play out. After all, it’s only Spring Training. Let’s first see how he does in Scranton, where he’ll play every day and be able to have a routine.

He’ll also be facing steady competition, unlike in Spring Training where it’s a mixture of Minor and Major League players from all different levels. The results that he will generate will also show how his progression is really coming along. While everyone’s fielding can always improve, Volpe’s biggest concern is how he performs at the plate. Everything else seems to already be there.

Let’s just sit back and see what happens over the next couple of weeks. Trading Kiner-Falefa likely means that Volpe is getting closer to his Major League debut, although it does not mean that he will instantly be called up. But it will happen at some point!

1 comment

תגובה אחת

15 במרץ 2023

Volpe may not yet have had as many minor league ABs as the Yankees prefer their prospects to have had prior to joining the the team in the Bronx.

he 's had far fewer than did Jeter or Judge or Peraza.

BUT he looks as though he could serve if needed.

question is, would the team he better served by holding him back (and getting him some further seasoning) while giving Peraza a longer look at shortstop.

Volpe is certainly a middle infielder, although some people have noted that he has less foot speed and arm strength than does Peraza.

if Peraza hits well in the majors, the yankees will face the pleasant 'problem' of having to decide whether Volpe…

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