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Tuesday Discussion: SPRING TRAINING!

February 13, 2024


This week we asked our writers to respond to the following:

What are you most looking forward to seeing during Spring Training this year?

Here are their replies...


Paul Semendinger - I am hoping that the Yankees work on lots of fundamentals and we see that focus in the coverage continually. "This Yankees team is focused on winning." I'd love to see the reporters saying things like, "I haven't seen this kind of focus on quality baseball at a Yankee camp in years. Aaron Boone is establishing a seriousness of purpose that is admirable."

As far as players, I'm hoping Carlos Rodon looks to be in shape, I'm hoping Anthony Rizzo shows that the head injury is behind him, and I hope that Giancarlo Stanton shows some athleticism that we haven't seen in years portending a big comeback season.


Cary Greene - I'm most looking forward to seeing a clean shaven Jordan Montgomery back in pinstripes, where he belongs. er, I'm most looking forward to seeing how Blake Snell looks in a Yankees uniform.. er, what I mean is, I am going to be watching Everson Pereira, Oswald Peraza, and Austin Wells all very closely - there's a lot of intrigue with these three. I'm NOT going to be watching Oswaldo Cabrera at all. He's a Minor Leaguer to me going forward and he's got not one but two options remaining. He'll need to beat his way out of Scranton to even see the Yankees dugout again, much less sit in it. 

On the pitching front, Luis Gil is the guy I'll be tracking most closely. Can he become the Yankees' next closer one day soon? Can he discover how to command and control the baseball and throw strikes, or is he the next in a long line of Yankees prospect failures?


James Vlietstra - Spring Training is for getting ready for the regular season and answering questions. Whether it’s to see if a young player is ready or if an established player is healthy. 

On the Major League side, I think the most important questions facing the Yankees is the health of their pitching staff.  They have lost a lot of their depth which means Cortes and Rodon have to be able to perform at 2022 levels. 

I expect Beeter, Hampton and Warren to make 20+ starts combined. That may still leave them a pitcher short. If Bauer is available on the cheap, he could be the best option. 

At the minor league complex, there’s always a dozen guys who come in and open a lot of eyes. I can’t wait to hear about them. 


Derek McAdam - While it won’t happen until later on into Spring Training, I’m looking forward to seeing Juan Soto and Aaron Judge hitting back to back. If these two can stay healthy, they will surely be a force throughout the entire season. While Spring Training games don’t exactly matter in terms of standings, it will still be fun to watch the first few outings. 


Tamar Chalker - I am excited to see Juan Soto - I don’t watch many non-Yankees’ games, so I really haven’t seen him much.


Lincoln Mitchell - My hope for spring training is that either the Yankees sign Snell or Bellinger. The team as it stands now is not likely to play deep into October.


Mike Whiteman - The thing I'm looking forward to the most in Spring Training is the emergence of someone new into a significant role. Whether it's someone like Anthony Volpe grabbing a job or Lucas Luetge coming from nowhere to pick up a spot in the pen, I greatly enjoy the intrigue of spring. 

This year, I'm interested in seeing who the new lefty reliever(s) will be. I'd love to see a young player step up and grab the third base job. Could Oswald Peraza step up? What happens if Jorbit Vivas just hits and hits and hits?  Everson Pereira looked overmatched last summer, but what if he's learned from the experience and just rakes?

Can't wait!


Tim Kabel - I am most looking forward to seeing Juan Soto, Austin, Wells, and the other young players, to see if they make the team in a meaningful way. I am referring to Oswald, Peraza, and Oswaldo Cabrera.


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 13

I am hoping, being that Brad Ausmus and Joe Girardi are former LONG TIME very experienced major league catchers, that they both take Austin Wells under their wing and teach him the finer points of being a successful catcher. There is a rap on Wells that he is not a good defensive catcher, that he is an "offense only" catcher, and Wells wants so badly to change that narrative. He wants to be the best catcher he can possibly be, and he wants to work VERY HARD to MAKE HIMSELF into a great defensive catcher, so in addition to the coaching he is receiving from Tanner Swanson, I am hoping the Yankees assign Joe Girardi (back with the team …


Feb 13

I’m probably most interested to see some of the new additions to the club on both the major league and minor league end (Soto, Verdugo, Grisham, Stroman, Ferguson, Gonzalez, Poteet, Morris, Vivas, etc) and how they perform in the spring.

Additionally, I’m curious to see how some of our injured players from last season rebound (Rizzo, Rodon, Cortes, Effross, Trevino, Dominguez, etc). With all of the departures in the offseason, especially on the pitching side, their health and effectiveness is a huge key to success this year.


Feb 13

I'm most interested in seeing whether Volpe is working on plate coverage and raising his OBP

as part of my effort to figure out how the team decides to replace LeMahieu as the lead-off hitter.

as far as I can see, there is no obvious choice on the current roster

and I feel that having a speedy guy with a high OBP hitting ahead of Soto will result in a heavy dose of first inning runs


Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 13

Sorry, but I don't want Snell. Again sorry, Cary, Montgomery is not coming back here. Vivas, I hope he is part of a trade to go elsewhere. Yes, I watch a lot of the Yankees minor league affiliates, but I will give a look in to their International or Eastern League games too - Orioles, Blue Jays, and BoSox, all have teams in those leagues too. But unless Vivas is better defensively and can hit in the IL first, maybe we have something there, but I doubt it.

But I always look forward to that first real Spring game that usually is televised back here since YES started. Who can forget Judge's first 2017 swing, a HR high up …

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