Deep Thinking

TAMPA, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 28: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees fields a ground ball from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays (not pictured) during the second inning during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 28, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Pitchers and catchers should be reporting about a month from now. Given where we’re at with the owner-induced lockout, I think we’ve got a snowflake’s chance in Hell–let alone a snowball’s–of that actually happening. But I’ll take an optimistic (perhaps too optimistic) look forward now to a time when the Yankees are playing games. Even with some holes that need to be filled–notably shortstop and first base–the Yankees have the opportunity to be a fairly deep team.

Before we examine that, though, it’s clear that the team does need to sign a full time shortstop. They don’t actually have one on the roster right now, given that they moved Gleyber Torres off the position by the end of the 2021 season. Hopefully, they go big and sign either Carlos Correa or Trevor Story to that position, rather than a stopgap, filler option. I won’t hold my breath on that, though. Regardless, there will be someone playing shortstop for the 2022 Yankees and that means that, including Torres and Urshela, the Yankees will have three players capable of playing short. They should lean on that to load manage and rest players whenever possible.

Torres, as mentioned, is now a second baseman again, meaning the Yankees have at least two legitimate players who can man the position, along with DJ LeMahieu. DJLM can also play a competent first and third, meaning the Yankees can be flexible with their lineups. Whether the Yankees roll with Luke Voit or re-sign Anthony Rizzo or go outside the org for help, LeMahieu can spell that player at first and give him a DH day, which trickles into the outfield depth.

Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks can both actually play center field. Aaron Judge can fake it and play a good right field. Giancarlo Stanton didn’t turn into dust while playing in the OF in 2021. Being able to lean on all those facts should help the Yankees get platoon advantages, rest players, and keep hot bats in the lineup.

The Yankees always preach about wanting flexibility, athleticism, and depth. They more or less have it now. They just need it to be shored up with some acquisitions and then have the confidence to deploy it properly.

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1 Comment

  1. MikeD

    Is there strong evidence Gallo can play a better CF than Judge? The Rangers used him there, but that’s not a strong endorsement. I mean, if he can, then Gallo/Hicks is your answer in CF, with Hick moving into the high-rotation Garder/4th OFer role. I’d like for them to look at Suzuki, but he’d yet another RH’d bat. Can’t remember the last time the Yankees have had such difficulty finding LH’d bats.

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