Many of the New York Yankees’ most important players look locked in during limited duty to open the spring — Gleyber Torres, we’re talking to you.
Some intriguing arms have emerged to handle the middle innings out of the ‘pen, a few nobodies have lingered on the fringes of the roster conversation, and Tyler Wade may be playing himself into purgatory … at least, many of us hope so.
So, what haven’t we learned yet? Well, plenty.
For starters, even the “answers” we think we might have aren’t definitive. That said, it would feel unfair for this list to begin with “Gleyber Needs to Prove Himself at Short” — because of course he does, but thus far, no complaints.
What answers are we no closer to attaining than the day camp broke?
What key questions will linger over the Yankees all season long, no matter how many scalded doubles they produce in March, April and May?
So far, so good in terms of early factors we needed to observe to feel at all comfortable with the 2021 Yankees’ trajectory. But plenty of burning questions remain unanswered, and these three top the list as we round the turn towards the portion of the spring where games become, well, boring and repetitive.
The Yankees face several burning questions as spring training marches on.
3. How Will Yankees Manage Their Starters’ Innings?
Both Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber, the Yankees’ question mark offseason additions, passed their first test.
We know, when they’re peaking, they can still look nasty. Both completely commanded the opposition during their first two outings of the spring; Taillon blitzed the Tigers on seven pitches with one whiff, while Kluber rocked the Blue Jays to sleep in two shutout innings.
Right off the bat, we know they’ve still got it.
But how far will the Yankees push them? Where’s the line in the sand?
To be fair, coming off a shortened 2020, this question goes for everyone in the rotation, making it all the more difficult to forecast anyone’s production. Will Domingo German be allowed to go over 150 innings after missing 540 days? Will Deivi Garcia press beyond that same mark after throwing just 34.1 innings last season? Probably not. So how will he be deployed?
The injured Clarke Schmidt won’t lick 100 innings pitched, probably. What will Luis Severino do to manage his load when he returns?
The best way for the Yankees to even approach answering this question in March would be to have six or seven rotation-quality options emerge, making spot starts and skipped outings an easier pill to swallow. So far, so good … but we don’t know the plan here, which will dictate how fresh this roster is in October.