With three weeks before Opening Day, the New York Yankees' shortstop battle is seemingly unsettled. Oswald Peraza is the "frontrunner" but Isiah Kiner-Falefa remains the veteran with the most experience ... BUT Anthony Volpe is presing hard with his play so far in Spring Training.
Through Thursday's action, Volpe is hitting .300 with a .941 OPS in 20 at-bats. He's shown flashes of brilliance on defense, at both shortstop and second base. His speed has proven to be a trait that would have an immediate impact at the MLB level.
Volpe's gotten a vote of confidence from captain Aaron Judge (as long as he keeps up his play). Yankees broadcaster David Cone even got in on the support: he thinks Volpe would make the team better if the top prospect was on the Opening Day roster. Michael Kay gushed over the 21-year-old on Thursday, saying Volpe "just gets it."
So what more do you need?! How about a rumor from MLB insider Peter Gammons to blow the lid off? Now, this likely hinges on Volpe continuing to prove himself for the remainder of the spring, but it simply cannot be ignored.
Gammons says he's thinking Volpe is the "favorite" for the starting shortstop job come Opening Day when the Yankees host the San Francisco Giants.
Yankees Rumors: Anthony Volpe the favorite for starting SS job?
Typos notwithstanding, Gammons has the collective ear of the Yankees' fanbase from now until March 30. He's holding us in the palm of his hand.
And how about what general manager Brian Cashman had to say Thursday afternoon? After he revealed Volpe would be in the running for the starting job earlier this offseason, he's still not ruling it out about two weeks into Spring Training. Cash is hardly ever this candid when it comes to a controversial talking point/hot button issue.
Could be legitimate, could be lip service to string the fans along throughout Spring Training. We've been here before with so many other topics. But the proof of Volpe's influence in more ways than one makes it feel more real than ever.
Naming Judge captain already appears to be paying dividends for the Yankees. A really difficult Thursday in wake of all the injury news has now provided renewed hope for a scenario fans are clamoring for.