Good afternoon 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.
Brad G. asks: What’s your best guess on games started at 1B/2B/3B this season for DJ LeMahieu?
Guessing exact numbers will be a bit difficult because it depends on LeMahieu’s health, but the plan as I see it is that LeMahieu plays around 60-70 percent of his games at second, another 20-30 percent at third, and then the last chunk spelling Rizzo at first. There’s a lot of infielders to shuffle around, but with Oswaldo Cabrera getting the majority of his playing time in left assuming he’s won the starting job outright then it mostly becomes a case of flipping LeMahieu with Gleyber Torres at second in terms of fitting playing time for everyone.
BxNyy asks: Will Volpe hit the ground running in New York?
It’s hard to say with just a game in hand obviously, but we talked about this a bit on our Spaces conversation this week. Volpe has the potential to be an above-average bat out of the gate with middling defense, and it seems like the Yankees are more than content to roll with him now that he’s arrived. Aaron Judge and the rest of the team already speak highly of his game, and his impact was already felt with his plate discipline and speed on the basepaths. It’s hard to live up to this level of hype, but Volpe more than earned his chance to be here and I expect him to hold his own.
Robert M. asks: Now that we have seen the starting lineup and reserves, I don’t understand why it’s not Peraza at second, DJ at third, and Donaldson on the bench for Opening Day. They really think they are better off with Florial AND Cordero (not even Calhoun) on the bench as back-up outfielders instead of Peraza?
Well, depending on what happens prior to the publication of this piece Florial may not even be in the picture. Regardless, I think his time on the roster isn’t long, and they found the outfielder that they’re willing to roll with in Cordero. This doesn’t necessarily open up a door for Peraza yet, however, as the team is adding another pitcher in Colten Brewer.
Realistically, the path for Peraza to make it back to the big leagues has as much to do with his performance as it does those ahead of him. Donaldson’s place on this roster is fairly locked in place — the Yankees would get next to no benefit from having him be one of their bench pieces — and Cabrera flexes between being a starter in the outfield and a utility man in the infield. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is the most likely to be replaced should Peraza earn his way up, but then figuring out the playing time jam would be a logistical nightmare since IKF already doesn’t figure into that timeshare.
It’s a wait-and-see approach for a while, and that’s not a bad thing — injuries can always pop up, or the right opportunity to restructure the roster approaches closer to midseason that can benefit the team better than shuffling players around without a plan in place now.
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