Yankees Going With Youth At Second Base
By Tyler Angelo
The New York Yankees are opting to give the young guns a shot at second base. They have had a handful of opportunities to go with a seasoned veteran, or someone with with MLB experience but have declined on all such occasions. One such example was after the signing of Chase Headley it seemed certain that Martin Prado would be the opening day second baseman.
However, Cashman made a surprise move and shipped Prado off to the Miami Marlins for pitching and depth. If the front office was at all concerned with who to play at second or the inexperience they would not have pulled the trigger on sending a veteran away. Furthermore, they would have received a second base option in return if there was a hesitation to ship Prado because he was their starting second baseman. The fact that they didn’t even ask for an option in return shows that they weren’t committed to going with a veteran there.
Also, the Yankees displayed no sign of urgency in the off-season to pursue a second baseman. Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Drew are both free agents who could plug the four hole on the right side of the infield. The argument could be made that the Yankees are reluctant to spend money this off-season which would be evident in the trades, but I believe the front office has come to the realization that the aging roster that is injury prone and locked up for millions has become the ongoing issue. The Yankees have to go in the opposite direction and build with youth. This means not trading prospects for Chase Utley or Troy Tulowitzki but instead giving our prospects a shot to crack the 25-man roster.
I keep preaching about Rob Refsnyder! He has demonstrated his ability to rake in the farms and he could be the next coming of a farm hand in the organization. The front office is showing their faith in him by giving him a chance to prove himself in camp. However, the Yankees could opt to go with the other youngster Jose Pirela because Refsnyder is still developing defensively.
Ref played outfield and college and has demonstrated he has the tools to be successful but needs to put them together. It is to be seen if that chance to put it together will be in the MLB or the farms. The Yankees also added two lefties to minor league contracts this offseason. Cole Figueroa and Nick Noonan can compete for a bench spot on the 25-man roster as well because of their ability to create match ups against right handed pitchers.
It is to be seen what the Yankees will do but in any case they have made it clear that they are going to give the young players a chance at second base. It may be a platoon or it may be locked up by a breakout stud but in any case it will be someone young. This is the first step for the Yankees in getting away from an aging, injury prone roster and rebuilding with youth.