Estevan Florial -- No, Wait, Franchy Cordero!
After one of the worst performances of any Yankees hitter this spring, Estevan Florial seemed to be heading up north to make the Yanks' Opening Day roster after Rafael Ortega was granted his release. Why? Well, he plays good defense and he's out of options, so the Yankees figured they'd probably get what they can out of him before cutting bait.
But wait! At the buzzer, former Red Sox outfielder (technically, he plays defense) Franchy Cordero busted in on an MLB deal and stole Florial's lunch, absorbing his role on the chopping block.
All spring long, it seemed like the absolute last chance for the 25-year-old Florial, who hit a dismal .163 with a .536 OPS and 19 strikeouts in 23 games (43 at-bats) during Spring Training. Last spring? He hit .097 with a .297 OPS in 17 games (31 at-bats).
To be fair to the outfielder, the lack of consistent playing time in the bigs has no doubt affected his development, but life in New York moves fast. Hitting .185 with a .579 OPS in 29 games (63 at-bats) in the bigs won't cut it, even if it's a small sample size. Florial might just be one of those guys who dominates Triple-A and can't make the transition to the show, sadly.
When it seemed like the Yankees had chosen Florial over Rafael Ortega, who was granted his release on Tuesday, fans went into defense mode, claiming no one could fault the Yankees for going with one of their own and sinking or swimming with their internal option amid his lasy chance. Instead, it appears Florial will likely get the boot, replaced by Cordero. Nobody hits the ball harder than the ex-Red Sox slugger, who hit over .400 and was a surprise cut with the Orioles this spring. However, his defense leaves more than a little to be desired, and he's never been able to translate his insane power into in-game production consistently.
Conversely, Florial's production with the big-league roster didn't even warrant a bench spot. But can Cordero -- most famous in New York for dropping a popup against the Yankees last year -- tread water any better before Harrison Bader returns? Pardon our Franch, but he's the next in line to go if he doesn't dominate quickly.