Opening Day

Yankees to Spotlight Promising Future on Opening Day

Major League Baseball’s opening day is just around the corner, and it looks as if the New York Yankees are finally giving into a youth movement that the fans have wanted. Subpar play last season at certain positions got fans on edge wanting more prospects to be called up and given a chance. Injuries did provide for a few players to get called up when the rosters were extended for the final stretch of the season.

While there was some success it seemed that the minor league players were just a short-term fix until the next season when players were healthy. That mentality seemed to shift with Spring Training this year as a youth movement was on display most notably Anthony Volpe. Now veteran players could be looking at a spot on the bench rather than on the field.

Yankees Spring Training Provides Promising Future

Volpe Proves He Is Ready For Yankees Call-Up

The biggest announcement coming out of Spring Training for the Yankees was that their number one prospect Volpe would be on the opening day roster. Volpe has been on a fast track to the majors with his play in the minor leagues. With only 22 games played at triple-A for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders, many felt he would be sent down to begin the season but eventually be seen in the majors this season. Volpe had different plans. He quickly gained the support of management and Yankees players most notably “The Captain” Aaron Judge. Who commented several times in Volpe’s favor over Spring Training.

The Young Shortstop Joins Elite Company

Since 1953, Volpe becomes the fifth youngest player to make the Yankees Opening Day roster. He joins some elite company with this distinct honor. Other names on the list include Mickey Mantle, John Ellis, Willie Randolph, and Derek Jeter. Those are some big shoes to fill. Both Jeter and Randolph served as captains for the Yankees. That title is taken for the foreseeable future, but he can still be a leader in the locker room. Jeter and Mantle are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

While his career is just getting started he should feel the pressure of being the shortstop for the Yankees as they don’t call many people up to the big leagues as young as Volpe.

Kiner-Falefa Gains New Role

So what does that mean for the other players battling it out for the shortstop position? Let’s start with Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The Yankees traded for Kiner-Falefa last season with hopes he could fill the everyday shortstop position for the team. As the season progressed, he seemed to buckle under the pressure of the spotlight of New York. The fan base started to turn on him, and you could see the impact it was making in his play prompting the call-up of Oswald Peraza. This all resulted in Aaron Boone working Kiner-Falefa in different positions telling the media that he would be used in a utility role.

This isn’t necessarily bad for the Yankees as Kiner-Falefa has experience at many positions. Yankees brass hopes this will allow him to excel, and serve as an essential role player for the team.

Peraza Gets Sent To Minors

The other player in the battle was none other than the previously mentioned Oswald Peraza. Coach Boone did not think he was quite ready to make the Opening Day roster even though he had some time playing with the team last year.

When asked about sending Peraza back to Triple-A Boone told the New York Daily News, “We still think he is gonna have a long big league career as a big league shortstop and that message needed to be relayed,’ he said. “But also, like, go handle your business down there and go work and get better every day, and the situation can change quickly.” One can only assume that if Volpe excels at shortstop then Peraza will be playing for another team if Boone is correct. There could be the small chance he might shift to second, and frequent rumored trade favorite Gleyber Torres could get traded.

It’s an exciting time when a rookie gets his call up to the big leagues and that is no different for Volpe. Should he reach the expectations that come with being the shortstop for the New York Yankees he will have a long career in The Bronx. The promotion of Volpe has fans excited and reminiscing about the storied career of Derek Jeter. That is a huge shadow to be standing in, but Anthony Volpe could quite possibly be the next big name for the franchise.

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