clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Mailbag: Measuring early expectations and results

The mailbag attempts to make sense of the early prognosis from camp.

New York Yankees in a spring training game host the Washington Nationals Photo by J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

Good morning everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Damn_yanks asks: Maybe I’m just being an optimist but it seems like Volpe has a real shot at winning the starting shortstop competition. If that happens, do the Yankees shop Peraza? He likely provides more value at short stop than other positions because his offensive ceiling is not projected to be as high as Volpe’s. Obviously they could just keep him in AAA and be an injury reserve. Can’t help thinking he might be more valuable to the team as a trade piece.

I considered Volpe a long shot to break camp with the team, but he’s doing his absolute best to make his case heard so far. On top of that, I’ve rarely seen established major leaguers give a ringing endorsement when a prospect is potentially hovering on joining the team like Aaron Judge gave Volpe the other day, especially considering Judge’s subtle and reserved nature in dealing with the media. It’s hard to ignore, and now there’s a very real discussion to be had about whether or not Volpe will force the Yankees’ hands.

What that means for Oswald Peraza is less clear. I don’t think they would move him anytime soon if he doesn’t win a starting spot, both because the options on the trading block aren’t particularly impressive yet with most teams aiming to compete at the onset and because that depth is something the team could easily find themselves needing a month or two in. However, before his call-up last year, it seemed like Peraza might have had one foot out the door at the trade deadline with how aggressive the Yankees were looking for deals, so there’s no guarantee that the Yankees are fully invested in a youth movement so much as they are in maximizing the talent on the MLB roster.

Peraza has already gotten a cup of coffee in the majors, and what he showed wasn’t too shabby. It would be hard to pass up on what he brings to the table except for the ideal addition to the roster, and barring the health concerns with the rotation at the moment, the lineup itself is the one that could use a jolt these days. Peraza carries more of a defensive reputation (he mans shortstop much better than Volpe), but his bat was up to par and displayed solid improvements down in the minors last year. Just because the infield is cluttered at the moment doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways that the Yankees can utilize both of these young players, and perhaps that’s the best solution for them.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: It’s easy to be impressed by what we’ve seen from Jasson Domínguez, but is there any chance he actually makes this team? I would have given him a zero percent chance before spring training started, but now he’s sitting at around 25 percent for me.

Domínguez has also steadily built up his resume throughout this spring, and at an even greater height offensively. Domínguez’s fabled raw power is starting to develop into true game power, and combined with his excellent end to 2022 his highlight reel is building up fast. There’s still only a minimal chance that Domínguez breaks camp with the team, as his experience in the upper levels of the minors is still next to nothing.

That being said, I think that his ETA may be rising with each step that he takes here — an appearance in the majors at some point this season may not be out of the question, as long as he keeps his form through the first half. Depending on how the starting outfield situation plays out this issue could be forced sooner, but the odds are that the team still wants to let their 20-year-old top prospect season a little bit longer.