Yankees drop Juan Soto's first NYY lineup in spring training debut

Carlos Rodón's making a pretty important start, too.
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

It was difficult to find a photo of Juan Soto for this article's featured image where he wasn't smiling in a Yankees uniform. After all, he's been doing a lot of that since reporting to Tampa for workouts and team bonding, opening his first year in pinstripes with aplomb.

On Sunday afternoon, he'll get an early chance to show off for the fans, outside of his spectacular batting practices, complete with Soto Shuffles.

The Yankees' biggest offseason addition might not be batting second all year, but he'll be doing so in his first game of February, batting in the two-hole ahead of Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres. Alex Verdugo leads off, making his first appearance in the uniform as well.

We've been waiting all winter. Can someone throw us a bone here? Can they wear the actual pinstripes instead of the navy pullovers? Considering the Yankees don't wear names on the backs of their jerseys, we might have the only official jerseys in the league that haven't been ruined by Nike/Fanatics. Let's see 'em.

Yankees Lineup: Juan Soto bats second in spring debut

Also noteworthy in this one, of course, is left-hander Carlos Rodón bringing his refreshed attitude and revamped frame to the bump for a spring debut that everyone hopes goes better than last year's showing against the Braves. That one ended up being his only appearance of the spring; this time around, he's been wowing teammates and coaches by ticking 97 on the gun early. Hopefully, he's raring to go and streamlined to dominate this season, rather than peaking too soon.

Subtle shoutout to Kevin Smith, former Jays infielder, and Danny Watson, who's being carried as a reliever in this one. Both attended Columbia High School in Nassau as youngsters, growing up fans of the team. Imagine being able to tell their grandkids they were on the lineup card for Soto's Yankees debut? You tell us spring training doesn't matter again. Tell us one more time.