Aaron Boone hypes up Yankees' infield defense in first weird truth smudge of 2024

New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

We made it all the way to April 16 before Aaron Boone fed Yankees fans a healthy dose of lie juice in 2024. Yum, yum, lie juice! Slurp, slurp!

The New York Yankees' infield defense, led by Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe, has let the team down in big moments, no matter what Boone seems to believe. While it's true that errors aren't everything, and we might all be singing a different tune if not for the infield's impressive range, there have been several glaring across-the-board deficiencies on display over the course of the season's first two weeks.

Far be it from any advanced baseball watcher to rely solely on the eye test, but any metric that grades Rizzo positively in the field right now isn't to be trusted. When asked by Jomboy on the Talkin' Yanks podcast how he feels about the team's repeated failures to complete double plays and execute with the game on the line, Boone unsurprisingly deflected.

"It's already been a strength," Boone mentioned, while citing the team's Outs Above Average ranking. While there's certainly a chance fans are proud of the unit by end of year, given their propensity for uncharacteristic dopiness so far, things have not been very strong thus far in many elementary areas. Props to Boone for his attempted spin, but this has whiffs of the team's long-held, confusing defenses of Isiah Kiner-Falefa's clearly below-average defense in 2022, citing metrics nobody else could seem to find along the way.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone thinks infield, as a whole, has been good defensively

Maybe Boone was the one who challenged the umpires to reevaluate Anthony Rizzo's error last week to bolster his argument a bit?

It's true that the Yankees sport a Gold Glover at shortstop who's "obviously been phenomenal so far," as Boone noted. They've utilized Jon Berti's limited 2024 reps well at third base, resulting in a few sparklers. But, in massive, spotlit moments, even Volpe's defense has betrayed him -- twice with multi-run leads in extra innings, both of which were soon to be squandered. His offense hasn't suffered one iota, but hopefully he isn't in his head defensively.

As for Torres? It's a shame that Sunday went so awry, considering the slick slide in the hole he made to corral Naylor's hotshot could've resulted in a narrative-changing double play. Unfortunately, Volpe fumbled the sphere, and everything got a whole lot worse a few minutes later.

Boone could've just mentioned the team's high likelihood of the errors evening out over the course of a long season, or touted their collective range factor. Either way, there was no need to try to convince fans they weren't seeing what they're seeing.