3 Yankees peaking at right time as spring training ends

New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
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Josh Donaldson, 3B

The Yankees' infield logjam features an overload of middle infield options, leading to a difficult decision regarding the usage of both DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres.

That remains an issue because of just how entrenched Josh Donaldson feels at third base, even after a plus-defense, little offense season (94 OPS+ after a 127 mark in 2021, too many called strikes to count last year). The glove should've been golden. The offense didn't merit a starting job for a championship-contending team.

But now, maybe (maybe!) Donaldson is finding his offensive stride at the right time.

It'll take much more than a few puff pieces boasting about how he would've retired if he didn't think he could still hack it to get Yankee fans believing. They passed the point of no return long ago, when Donaldson spent most of the second half looking like Todd Frazier vs. Justin Verlander (after setting the game aflame with his comments directed at Tim Anderson).

If he's going to play, though ... he might as well hit. And he's definitely going to play. Donaldson smacked two home runs in Tuesday's action after shortening his leg kick in a dedicated adjustment aimed at simplifying his swing. Whether it translates to the regular season or not, he's decidedly working on it, rather than resigning himself to cashing checks and struggling as another season goes off the rails.

As Aaron Boone stated Tuesday after Donaldson's strong BP rhythm translated into the game:

"To go out and get results in the game is encouraging. He’s capable of that. It’s absolutely still in there. He’s twitchy. He’s strong. He’s got power. He’s just got to get that — he got dinged a little bit last year. He’s just got to know that that’s still in there. Because it is."

Aaron Boone

We have no choice but to hope he's right.