For Yankees' Anthony Volpe, sense of roster momentum coming from outside -- for now
It’s impossible to watch Anthony Volpe play baseball -- or to engage in conversation with him, for that matter -- and not come away impressed. He is talented, dynamic, and engaging.
For these reasons, the clamor from fans for Volpe to break camp with the team is understandable. For now, though, any momentum on that front is external to the Yankees, and not a topic that has been seriously discussed in the organization.
According to sources, the Yankees have simply not yet reached the point in spring training in their spring training meetings in which the shortstop situation has been widely discussed. When owner Hal Steinbrenner or manager Aaron Boone is asked by a reporter, they have answered, but the front office and coaching staff have not begun to deliberate about Volpe and Oswald Peraza.
There is a fairly broad consensus among the scouts who cover the Yankees system that Peraza’s shortstop tools are a tick better. The Yankees themselves feel that both Peraza and Volpe project as major-league shortstops, and there is no need for the club to declare one or the other the future of the position.
As far as making the Opening Day roster, Peraza over Volpe makes logical sense, because he has more experience in Triple-A and the big leagues, and even started a playoff game last year.
If Volpe has become a popular choice among fans, it is likely because of his electric style of play and engaging personality. The Yankees believe that they have the proverbial “good problem to have” with two top shortstop prospects. Once it comes time for the team’s scouts, front office and coaching staff to discuss the roster, both players will receive consideration.
As always, VP of baseball operations Tim Naehring -- “my Gene Michael,” as GM Brian Cashman likes to call him, a reference to the legendary evaluator and former Yankees GM -- will be a key voice in the evaluation, as will others.
But if anyone out there is getting a sense that the process is tilting toward Volpe, pump the breaks. The Yankees haven’t even had that meeting.