Fortune favors the bold and with the opening day roster due soon, Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman have a chance to be bold. The bold decision the fans are hoping for is that both Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza get on the roster. Which plays shortstop and which mans second is of no concern to the fan base, as long as their names appear on the line-up card. Without that, the current projected lineup looks very much the same as last year's model that crashed hard in the second half and looked helplessly outclassed by the Houston pitching staff.
But, to make that bold decision the Yankees
need to solve a gordian knot of other commitments. The infield is jammed with Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Josh Donaldson. Uncertainty about Aaron Hicks returning to form and Oswaldo Cabrera's quality over a full season have led the Yankees to explore other outfield alternatives. But, other in-house LF options are slim. None of those infielders could move to the outfield to accommodate the addition of both Peraza and Volpe. Attempts are being made to see if Isiah Kiner-Falefa can handle the open, everyday left fielder spot. Playing IKF in the outfield is perhaps less "bold" and more "delusional" or "obstinate." His career .663 OPS does not play well in left field and despite any rosy descriptions of his athleticism, there is really no universe in which he becomes a platinum glove left fielder, which is what would be required to overcome the weak offense for that position. Estevan Florial seems to be an after-thought as usual, and should hopefully be hitting waivers so that some other team can give him a real shot.
The reality of the situation is that someone (or multiple people) have to go.... eventually. The injury to Harrison Bader has opened up a temporary spot and delayed any hard decisions, but if Donaldson, Torres, LeMahieu, and IKF are all still on the roster by the all-star break, then either 1) all of them are performing exceptionally well and everyone is happy (which seems highly unlikely); or 2) Brian Cashman isn't doing his job.
It will be very interesting to see if we witness any truly bold moves over the next couple weeks.
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