Batting sixth, DJ LeMahieu - 3B
If DJ LeMahieu can be fully healthy for the duration of the 2024 season, while also carrying over the stride he hit when Sean Casey took over as hitting coach, that would be fantastic. LeMahieu, now 35, had an .898 OPS in August! It wouldn't be fair to expect that to manifest routinely, nor would it be fair to anticipate MVP-level contributions like it's 2019 again. But LeMahieu is a professional hitter, the kind of player Yankee fans complain about the loudest when he disappears.
And, if it doesn't work out by June or July, they'll have a ready-made backup option waiting in the wings.
No, I don't expect Oswald Peraza to be traded. Clarke Schmidt, Will Warren, Clayton Beeter? Uh ... gotta go, bye!
Batting seventh, Anthony Volpe - SS
Big year for the kid. Huge.
Volpe's Year 2 doesn't have to look exactly like Bobby Witt Jr.'s leap, but the patience has to improve, the stolen bases can't slow to a crawl after April, the situational hitting must improve, and the power stroke can't be the default stroke. In other words, it's time for James Rowson to get to work.
20-20 and a Gold Glove is nothing to sneeze at, but if it ever were fair to sneeze at a season with those numbers, that season would look a lot like Volpe's 2023 rookie campaign. This is the final year of leeway before we start having concerns and retrospectives about his arrival.