TAMPA — Three weeks away from Opening Day, the Yankees say they are not yet ready to make any definitive conclusions on their shortstop competition.
But Anthony Volpe is making those decisions more difficult with his strong play through the first half of camp.
“Let’s put it this way: Anthony Volpe’s doing everything he needs to do,” general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday. “Now we’ll see how, ultimately, he measures up compared to everybody else in our internal dialogues. That [determination] hasn’t happened yet. I know everybody would love to have an answer or decision sooner than later, but we’re not prepared to make those decisions yet. But he’s having a great camp and we’re proud of him.”
It was notable on Wednesday when team captain Aaron Judge, while answering a question about Volpe’s lack of Triple-A experience (22 games), said that “if you’re the best player … you should be up helping the New York Yankees,” regardless of age.
Asked if the decision was that simple, Cashman noted that among the factors involved is that Volpe is not currently on the 40-man roster – Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Oswald Peraza, the other two members of the competition, both are.
But Cashman insisted that the Yankees would let the battle play out.
“Ultimately when we get a little closer [to Opening Day], we’re going to have to make some decisions because ultimately, we want to win,” Cashman said.
“We’ve said there’s an open lane there. We’re going to have an open competition and then we’ll factor everything in that we need to factor in and we’ll make a call. It’s not for now, but it’s going to be coming sooner than later.”
Volpe, who started Thursday’s game against the Red Sox at second base, entered the day batting .353 with a 1.097 OPS and three steals in six games this spring.
Peraza, who started at shortstop, was batting .222 with a .639 OPS and one steal through four games.
Kiner-Falefa, who started at shortstop on Wednesday and is expected to play second base on Friday, was batting .091 with a .396 OPS and one steal across six games.