Gerrit Cole had one bad inning (he’s had a good spring training) and as a result, the Yanks (9-14-1 in spring training) lost 5-3 to Baltimore on Sunday.
Now is around the time I really pay attention to results. Because now most of the minor leaguers have been sent down and others cut.
I read from Jon Heyman that he thinks the best Yankees infield would be Rizzo at 1B, Volpe at 2B, Peraza at SS and D.J. at 3B. Fine, but what then happens with Donaldson and Gleyber? It’s basically a given right now that IKF will serve as a utility man.
My thoughts. I think Rizzo, Gleyber, Volpe and D.J. would be best. Peraza could still go to the minors until the infield glut is resolved. Maybe there will be a trade soon. But Donaldson is hitting just .179 this spring, and despite manager Aaron Boone’s confidence that Donaldson still has something in the tank, concerns abound after Donaldson’s off year in 2022 and with Donaldson’s age (37). Maybe at the trade deadline Gleyber would be dealt, opening a spot for Volpe or Peraza, whoever doesn’t make the Opening Day cut. But in order to get Peraza and Volpe on the team, someone has to go.
As far as LF is concerned, Hicks will probably be there, but I’d prefer Cabrera. Hicks is hitting .290 this spring but mostly with no one on. When there are RISP, then nothing. Actually, the best hitter among the LF candidates has been Willie Calhoun. (.344). Rafael Ortega can play all OF positions, but after a hot start to spring training, has cooled off. Jasson Dominguez (#2 prospect) isn’t a consideration. He’s only played five games at AA, and that is where he’ll probably start the season. He isn’t far away, though.
So, my choices? Gleyber at 2B, Volpe at SS, Cabrera in LF. Until Bader is over his oblique injury, the OF alignment won’t be what I’d like (who plays CF? Hicks? Judge? Cabrera? Heck, IKF was out there the other day. Ortega?)
Boone says that Volpe is a leadoff or middle of the order hitter. As of now, he is committed to LeMahieu leading off. I beg to differ. I’d have Volpe lead off for a few reasons.1) He’d be helped by Judge behind him. No pitcher wants runners on base with Judge coming up. He wouldn’t want to walk Volpe. Volpe would see better pitches to hit. 2) Volpe would disturb pitchers more than DJ. He is a better SB threat. If the pitcher is concentrating on Volpe, there is less concentration on Judge. 3) Volpe is more likely to get the extra base, like scoring from first on a Judge double, or going first to third on a Judge single, than DJ. I’d have DJ batting fifth.
So my lineup would be:
Volpe SS #1 prospect
LeMahieu 2 for 3
Judge 1 for 4, double.
Rizzo 0 for 2, RBI, walk.
Stanton 1 for 3
Donaldson 0 for 3
Cabrera 2 for 3, RBI.
Hicks 1 for 2
Peraza 0 for 3 #3 prospect.
Calhoun 0 for 2
Trey Sweeney 1 for 2 #7 prospect
Cole (L) 5 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 1 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP. All runs in fifth.
Abreu 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Cordero 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Marinaccio 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Ramirez 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.