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Bill Madden: Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza and the Yankees’ shortstop dilemma


TAMPA — For the much-maligned Yankee acreage system, this bounce is the best of times and the affliction of times.

The best of times is Jasson Dominguez, the adolescent switch-hitting phenom centermost fielder, who is dwelling up to all the accompanying advertising from while the Yankees active him for $5.1 million out of the Dominican Republic as the No. 1 rated global anticipation in 2019. As of Friday, Dominguez was once 7-for-16 with three homers, seven RBI and a 1.526 OPS in Grapefruit League comedy as the cries of “Martian” (his bright and appropriate appellation for his “out-of-this-world” five-tool talent) have been resonating by the stands of George M. Steinbrenner Field.

More best of times has been the actualization of Jersey-bred fan admired Anthony Volpe from longshot in the ambush sweepstakes to the frontrunner in the aboriginal activity of spring.

It has been a while back there has been this abundant amateur buzz in the Yankee camp. For added than Aaron Judge (and accepted he’s a pretty acceptable one), the Yankees have not developed a frontline position amateur back Brett Gardner in 2008, and afore which Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada in the ‘90s. It’s been the aforementioned with pitchers. Not back Andy Pettitte in 1995 have the Yankees drafted and developed a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. We will see if which changes this year with Clarke Schmidt, their No. 1 abstract aces in 2017 out of South Carolina who is accepting a aureate befalling for a atom in the circling with Frankie Montas accepting undergone accept anaplasty above-mentioned to bounce training which will amusement him for months.

So what possibly could be the affliction of times?

Well, for one thing, as absorbing as Dominguez has been this spring, he’s played alone bristles amateur aloft A affray and many of his Grapefruit League at-bats have appear as a late-inning backup adjoin “garbage time” accessory alliance pitchers. So alike with the indirect harm to Harrison Bader which will acceptable avoid him from aperture the time in centermost field, abundant to the fans’ chagrin, the Yankee high command is not about to blitz the calendar on Dominguez. Everyone you allocution to all over the Yankees insists the child is the absolute deal, with aberrant calm and bowl conduct for a 20-year-old, about his time, they also insist, has not yet come.

The added “best of times, affliction of times” book arena out this bounce has to do with the Yankees’ added two high prospects, Volpe and Oswald Peraza who abominably both appear to comedy the aforementioned position. It’s pretty bright Volpe is the fan admired if alone because of his arctic Jersey roots and communicable personality. But like Dominguez, Volpe has constrained experience, alone 89 at-bats aloft Double-A as against to Peraza, who spent many of aftermost time at Scranton-Wilkes Barre, hitting .259 with 19 homers and 33 baseborn bases.

Of the two, Peraza is perceived to be the further accustomed shortstop, although Volpe’s boosters have been quick to point to Jeter in 1996, who had his doubters about actuality a accurate ambush amid the Yankee high command, and accepted them amiss by apace acceptable the job in bounce training and never looking back. It’s a absolute bind for the Yankee academician trust, abnormally for those who believe Volpe in the continued run is bigger ill-fitted for 2nd or third base.

If Volpe continues to hit (6-for-20 with a adjudicator and bristles runs denticulate as of Friday) and authenticate which he can handle the position, how do you acquaint him he’s not a shortstop? Indeed, if, at the end of the spring, it’s accounted which Peraza will be the Opening Day shortstop, how do you still accelerate Volpe to Triple-A as anything about a shortstop?

I asked which catechism to a adept advance afterward the Yankees this spring. “You can’t,” he said. “You have to let the amateur prove he can’t comedy the position. Volpe’s alone 21 and played ambush his absolute life. The Yankees have to be actual accurate here.”

At the end of the day, one of them is activity to be the champ of this antagonism about for now Brian Cashman isn’t activity there. “Anthony Volpe is accomplishing aggregate he needs to do,” the GM answered Thursday while asked for his appraisal of the ambush situation. “I’m not afraid he’s played able-bodied and he’s actuality for consideration. We’ll see how ultimately he measures up compared to everyone abroad in our centralized dialogues. That hasn’t happened yet. I apperceive everyone would adulation to have an answer eventually rather than after about we’re not able to accomplish those decisions yet.”

In 2022, the Yankees had the second-highest all-embracing boilerplate age in the majors (behind the Mets) of 30.12 and it’s fair to say they could use an beverage of youth. Either way, they’re activity to get which at shortstop, about it could be complicated. Meanwhile, what charcoal to be apparent is the actual best-of-times book — which would be Dominguez hitting his way into the Yankee outfield ancient all through the ‘23 season.


Back in the ‘80s while he was once a drillmaster for the Astros, Yogi Berra did a alternation of abbreviate programs, sponsored by Stroh’s Beer and created by MLB’s TV authority Tom Villante alleged “Yogi at the Movies” in which he would action quick commentaries on the accepted movies. Well, now Yogi is the movies! On May 12, Sony Pictures Classics will be absolution “It Ain’t Over,” a 95-minute documentary of Yogi’s activity to be apparent in theatres in New York and Los Angeles and accretion to the blow of the country anon thereafter. I hafta say documentarian Sean Mullin and his producers did a arresting job in scoring interviews with so many of Yogi’s above teammates (Bobby Brown, Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson), Yankee legends (Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Ron Guidry, Willie Randolph), in accession to Vin Scully, Billy Crystal and Bob Costas, and Yogi’s sons, Tim, Larry and Dale. It’s a awful absorbing accolade to an American abundance and if Yogi was once critiquing it, he would about absolutely say “you can beam a lot by this cine alone by watching” while also reminding us not to a the theatre aboriginal “because the cine ain’t over ‘til it’s over!”


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