Yankees: Latest lineup shuffle could hint at Derek Dietrich roster decision

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - MARCH 21: Derek Dietrich #12 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - MARCH 21: Derek Dietrich #12 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees have been trying to iron out their roster in the last few days of spring training, and the status of utility player and projected infielder Derek Dietrich has been one of the more interesting sags that has unfolded before our eyes down in Tampa.

While Dietrich can play multiple infield and outfield positions, all the while possessing a tremendous left-handed power swing that should play well in a park like Yankee Stadium, he has just four-hits all spring long, which hasn’t exactly helped his chances of making an already very deep roster.

Dietrich, a former Miami Marlins starter, has struggled to hit above the Mendoza line during his stretches with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers over the last two seasons, and the Yankees haven’t been convinced by his performance in the Spring to make him a part of this team in 2021. In fact, the latest lineup shuffle might be hinting that his days are over.

The Yankees scratched Dietrich from their lineup in today’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Is this, potentially, a sign that Dietrich has failed in his quest to make the Yankees as a backup infielder?

Is this the end of Derek Dietrich with the Yankees?

Dietrich, who spent his first six years in the league as a second baseman and utility man with the Marlins, has launched 84 home runs in his pro career while hitting an average .245. However, since leaving the Marlins, Dietrich has found it difficult to stick.

Dietrich has hit .189 over the last two years, and whatever power he brings to the table is wasted on a team that already has a surplus of pop when he fails to make consistent contact at the plate. With his defense not enough of a draw, mostly because of how detrimental it can be, he faces an uphill battle towards making this roster over Tyler Wade.

Wade’s bat is one of the worst in the league, but the Yankees seem to put a high price on his versatility and glove. With outfielders like Mike Tauchman and Brett Gardner likely holding down spots, Dietrich might be on his way out of town.

Dietrich is too talented to either remain a free agent for the entire season or get mired in the minor leagues, so it’s not crazy to assume he could land with another team before the season starts. However, thanks to yet another underwhelming spring, Dietrich might need to tale his talents elsewhere, as the Yankees aren’t sold.