9.5 C
Monday, May 29, 2023
HomeNewsYankees' Isiah Kiner-Falefa begins work in center field as shortstop battle narrows

Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa begins work in center field as shortstop battle narrows


We may have a concession in the Yankees shortstop contest. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has started working the outfield and will play center field during Grapefruit League games this week, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Tuesday.

Kiner-Falefa has never recorded a major league inning in the outfield, however he has shown versatility in his career, having played shortstop, second baseman, third baseman and catcher during his five-year career.

With the news that one of the Yankees’ prized young prospects, Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza, will take over the shortstop duties, Kiner-Falefa is looking for a peaceful transition of power so he can stay in pinstripes by making himself available at different positions.

The 27-year-old has been solid in spring games, going 5-for-19 (.263) with a home run and double.

Kiner-Falefa played 138 games at shortstop for the Bombers last season, recording 15 errors and struggling on routine plays all season.

Despite the obvious difficulties, Boone did his best to support the shortstop who came to the Bronx as part of the trade that sent Gary Sanchez to the Minnesota Twins.

“He’s been one of the best defensemen in the league at shortstop,” Boone said in late August. “Shortstop, infielders, you make a mistake once in a while.”

He then found himself benched at times during the postseason due to his defensive woes that led to Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera taking starts at the position in October.

If this spells the end of Kiner-Falefa’s time as the Bombers’ everyday shortstop, moving into a utility role, the decision between Volpe and Peraza appears to come to an end.

Volpe arrived in camp after receiving a phone call from general manager Brian Cashman to inform him that he is in the mix to break camp with the Yanks on Opening Day. The 21-year-old has run with the opportunity this spring. Volpe is 9-for-28 (.321) with two home runs, four doubles, three stolen bases and has played clean shortstop. Volpe has opened many eyes this spring.

“A lot of our guys, especially our established core guys, have caught their attention,” Boone said after Sunday’s tie against the Red Sox, where Volpe went 2 for 4 with a double and a long home run to opposite field.

“I think he’s got all the tools,” Aaron Judge said after last Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals at the Yankees’ spring complex. “He checks a lot of boxes defensively, offensively. He has the speed… My thing has always been, if you’re the best player, it shouldn’t matter how old you are. You should be helping the New York Yankees.”

Volpe said after the game against the Red Sox that “he’s just trying to take advantage of every opportunity.

“Having the coaching staff and support staff to work with you and do well in games (helps),” Volpe said. “It’s definitely early, but everyone wants to perform at the games.”

The uphill battle for the New Jersey native is that he only has 99 at-bats in Triple-A, having been called up in September 2022 and not yet on the 40-man roster, so the Yanks would have to do some kind of movement. to clear a place for him.

the striped express


The Daily News sports editors curate the best Yankees stories of the week from our award-winning columnists and writers. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

This is exactly what Peraza has in store for him right now.

The 22-year-old hasn’t performed as well this spring, going 3-for-17 (.176) with a double as his only extra-base hit. The slick-fielding shortstop is on the 40-man roster and has plenty of Triple-A experience: 414 at-bats from 2021-22, including an MLB career 49 at-bats in 18 games for the Bombers.

It remains to be determined if there was real competition going into camp or if the Bombers had a favorite for the job all along. Volpe has clearly been the best player of the bunch and with Kiner-Falefa now trying to learn the outfield, the competition has only gotten more intriguing a little over two weeks before Opening Day.

Ace Gerrit Cole will be the Yankees’ Opening Day starter, Boone announced. The news comes the same day that the San Francisco Giants, who are playing the Yankees in the season opener, announced that right-hander Logan Webb will be on the mound when the team opens the season.

Cole started Tuesday’s 10-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Cole allowed three earned runs, six hits and a home run in 4.2 innings of work. He struck out six batters.

Catcher José Treviño has been out with a sprained right wrist, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Boone said the receiver is expected to return to play later this week, but an injection remains possible.

Trevino is expected to be ready by Opening Day, Boone said.

Source link

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories