What are the hottest Spring Training battles for Yankees?
The New York Yankees enter the 2019 season with a good sense of optimism. Gary Sanchez is coming back healthy, Giancarlo Stanton is as well, and they’ve bolstered up their pitching with the additions of James Paxton and Adam Ottavino.
The Yankees have a team fully capable of winning a World Series, but still have a few positions to fill. Let’s take a look at some open spots to watch out for in Spring Training.
The most notable open spot is first base. LUUUUKE Voit came out of nowhere mid season and stole the first base position from Greg Bird after Bird was slumping hard for about a month.
Voit was terrible in the playoffs and his play re-opened the spot for this season. Bird is allegedly healthier than he’s ever been before (allegedly) and is ready to win back his starting job.
Who gets it? Well considering Bird’s health record he’ll probably have a great Spring then break his ankle right before the season. Voit will be your starting first baseman.
Probably the most intriguing battle will be between Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier for left field. It was thought that Gardy was signed strictly for depth purposes, but if Frazier gets injured or struggles out of the gate it’s Brett’s to lose.
If they both struggle, we could see a lot more of Giancarlo Stanton in the field, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Frazier has all the tools to win this job easily but can he actually get it done?
Who wins? Barring any concussion setbacks, Clint Frazier should be your new Yankees left fielder. If he puts it all together he can be a special player. IF.
With the signings of Troy Tulowitzki and DJ Lemahieu, the Yankees infield is crowded. Assuming Miguel Andujar is the only returning starter and Gleyber Torres will start almost every game, it’s a two man race for the other infield spot.
Tulo is still a talented player but has a laundry list of past injuries. Lemahieu is a very underrated player and his defense is impeccable but can he repeat the numbers he had two years ago?
If it’s my guess, Gleyber Torres starts at shortstop until Didi Gregorius gets back, DJ starts at second and Tulo spots them both rest. When Didi returns all bets are off but at least the season will start that way.
The Yankees have a good problem on their hands. They have multiple talented players vying for multiple spots in the lineup and on the field. They have an embarrassment of riches but they need to make sure they have their guys in the right spots to succeed.
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