Every story about the Yankees' coaches will leave you asking, "Do the Yankees have coaches?" and the tale of Anthony Volpe's changed stance on Tuesday is no exception.
After a day's worth of everyone from Hal Steinbrenner to Aaron Boone reassuring fans that they hadn't considered demoting Volpe to Triple-A at any point (good vote of confidence, but...), the 22-year-old shortstop showed up on Tuesday with a visibly altered stance -- and it worked.
In four at-bats, Volpe cracked two doubles (though the second one was very much a missed catch by Brandon Nimmo). Still, it was the first multi-XBH game of his career, and the two at-bats where he recorded outs arguably featured better contact than Double No. 2 (a grounder into the hole stopped by Francisco Lindor, and a near home run that made it to the track in left).
Volpe has ways to go, but at least made a tangible change that resulted in a memorable mid-comeback clutch hit.
Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe's stance was changed by ... Austin Wells
So, who's responsible? Did Volpe consult with Dillon Lawson on how he could turn a "professional .200" into a professional .250 or .260? Did he ping the Triple-A hitting coaches and pick their brains to see if he could learn anything from them without actually being demoted?
Nah. Not really. Turns out, he used his off day to reset (smart kid) and invited Yankees top prospect Austin Wells and some of his other old minor-league teammates over to eat chicken parm and watch tape of old at-bats.
Volpe, Wells and Co. immediately caught the change in his stance, and the shortstop showed up Tuesday ready to protect the inner half just a little better.
Add this story to the tale of Aaron Hicks and the Orioles coaches immediately collaborating on a quick fix that paid dividends, and you really have to wonder whether "Hit Strikes Hard" is the entire Powerpoint.
After the contest, Volpe smiled wide when discussing the big off day that helped boost his confidence:
"I just think it’s a good building process. I thought the process was really good today. The at-bats were good. Regardless of anything after that, I’m happy with that."- Anthony Volpe
Who knows? If the Yankees won't use Wells' bat to bolster a down-in-the-dumps lineup, maybe they'll hire him as one of Lawson's assistants somewhere down the line.