The Yankees' first "pound the table" roster meeting of Spring Training came and went without a resolution, so it seems the "Anthony Volpe vs. Oswald Peraza" shortstop debates might just rage for another closed-door get-together or two.
Volpe and Peraza started in tandem on Thursday, something that's happened twice in the past week. Each time, Volpe has manned short, while Peraza has slid over to second. Neither made much noise in this particular contest, but Volpe's had the stronger spring, OPS'ing .939 in the smallest and weirdest of sample sizes.
According to Boone mid-week after the team's Wednesday battle with the Nationals, both are "good" players, and either player would have the Yankees in a "good" spot -- in other words, Coach Speak. At least this time, his generic platitudes are accurate; both are good.
But deeper in the article, Boone may have tipped his hand a bit.
Did Aaron Boone hint Yankees shortstop race is slipping away from Oswald Peraza?
"For the most part, he’s been all right. Yesterday, he didn’t have great at-bats. Working on a little, small mechanical thing. When he gets his load in the right way, he’s pretty good. He’s been OK. He’s been OK. He’s impacted a few balls. Yesterday was the first day where I didn’t feel like his at-bats were great. Otherwise, whether he gets a result or not, the at-bats are all right."- Aaron Boone, on Peraza
This competition was always bound to be about much more than who was having the "good" at-bats at the tail end of camp. That's why the team tried their hardest to dissuade folks from the idea that anyone could win the gig outright with a scorching March.
They also tried to tell us that there were no preconceived notions at the start of Spring Training, though. That ... was a lie. Most fans took that message as a hat tip to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, indicating he had a legitimate shot to beat out both rookies and retain his gig from 2022. Based on the way he was utilized and the swiftness with which he was exiled to the outfield, though, that doesn't seem to have been true; it was always going to be one of two rookies.
At the moment, Volpe has been the most impressive on the stat sheet and the more obvious standout talent. Peraza is also an exceptional prospect, but it's been Volpe who's popped.
Both players have another week for their current trends to reverse and normalize. If not, though, it will be hard to keep a streaking Volpe off the roster in favor of Peraza at his worst.