3 questions Yankees have already answered at spring training, 1 they haven't

It's still, unfortunately, a mystery.

New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

The New York Yankees are approaching two full weeks of spring training games, which have felt joyous if a little meaningless from oh, say, Game 2.

The first game of spring training represents rebirth and renewal. We've waited oh so long to get here. All the familiar sights and sounds are greeted with reverence. Oh, a chopper to short! Straighten that out, but otherwise, it was beautiful!

Once you finish Game 1? Every spring contest mostly just feels like an unnecessary injury risk. But that hasn't stopped these Yankees from playing them anyway, allowing them to powerfully answer a few of the questions that hung over the roster when the curtain first rose. Obviously, spring performance doesn't dictate much about the regular season, but it's at least a solid indicator of whether a player can or cannot accomplish a task. Hitting .438 in the spring doesn't mean someone's going to win the batting title, but powering a 430-foot home run off the scoreboard proves a slugger still has that in him.

Early in camp, the Yankees have answered three offseason questions reasonably well, but -- forgive the pessimism -- one familiar refrain still looms.

3 Yankees questions they've answered at spring training, 1 lingering issue

Is Anthony Rizzo still able to contribute, if healthy?

This is not to say that Anthony Rizzo will be healthy, or will be the Yankees' long-term first base solution, or will replicate his spring training output as soon as the regular season starts.

It's simply worth noting that Rizzo proved, in his two-homer game on Friday night, that he has physically recovered from post-concussion effects to perceive pitching and strike the baseball with the same force he did before the injury.

Against the Blue Jays, Rizzo smashed a pair of home runs and worked a walk -- almost as impressive, given where he ended last season -- in three plate appearances. Following the concussion that destroyed his vision and depth perception last May, he hit a grand total of one home run in the months of June and July (July 23 against the Kansas City Royals). When Rizzo got off the schneid, it was treated humorously last summer. Nothing, in fact, was funny at all about his blurred vision and the medical malpractice involved.

Two home runs in spring training wouldn't mean nearly as much to any other Yankee as it does to Rizzo. Add in the patience he's displayed, and it's clear that a Rizzo bounce back is now physically possible.