Spring Training is right around the corner, and the Yankees have left us with so many burning questions—so hot Arson Judge can’t even touch them. There are a lot of opinions floating out there, and we’re going to address those in a series of articles to come, but first, we must celebrate the fact that we are just a FEW weeks away from baseball.
When do pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training?
It feels like we were just wallowing in the Yankees’ season-ending sweep, but praise be to the baseball God’s, America’s favorite pastime has the shortest offseason. On February 15, pitchers and catchers can expect to be welcomed back to Tampa by a buzzin’ hot cup of Nestor’s coffee. That is, if they aren’t participating in the World Baseball Classic, in which they are expected to check-in on February 13.
“I’ll get to the stadium at the same time I always do, check in with all the guys, maybe spend some time talking smack with our head clubbie. And from there it’s all about the Cuban coffee. I’ll brew a batch (sometimes two batches for a big game) and hand it out to everyone I see. And then we’ll all enjoy the best coffee in the world,” said Nestor Cortes to the Player’s Tribune in Oct. 2022
When do Yankees position players arrive at GMS?
The Yankees’ Captain, Aaron Judge, and the rest of the fielders’ posse are expected to arrive on February 20. By my calculations, that gives Gerrit Cole and Frankie Montas four days to settle in as the Yankees’ new Judge-Rizzo duo of the pitching staff, for Nestor to get the coffee brewing, and for Jonny Lasagna (Loáisiga) and Ronny Marinara (Marinaccio) to get the meatballs served up.
When do the Yankees open up the Grapefruit League Season?
The Yankees open up a 32-game Spring Training season on February 25th in the neighboring town, Clearwater, to face the reigning NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. The home opener will take place at George M. Steinbrenner field on February 26 against the Atlanta Braves.
Who plays in the Grapefruit League?
The Grapefruit League consists of the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals. The remaining 11 teams play in the wild wild west Cactus League.
The Burning Questions
These are the obvious ones, but here goes. Andrew Benintendi will not be returning to New York after signing a five-year, $75 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, so who are the Yankees starting in left? Bueller? I will say that I am team Oswaldo Cabrera. If you’ve been following my writing, you already knew this. There may still be time to sneak in a trade, but I would kind of like to see what this current staff can do. Aaron Hicks is coming off of a minor injury where he collided with Oswaldo Cabrera in Game 5 of the ALCS, so it remains to be seen what his condition is.
DJ LeMahieu was sidelined for the entire postseason last year with a toe injury that could only be remedied with rest. The injury, fortunately, or unfortunately (time will tell), did not require surgery this offseason. According to Yankees’ Manager Aaron Boone, “He’s been at the player development complex pretty much every day doing everything from hitting and throwing, agility work, running.” – per NJ.com. If DJLM can make a healthy return, can he get back to being an everyday player? There is hope that we will see more of DJLM on the hot corner and less of Josh Donaldson.
The Yankees have lacked a consistent, reliable short-stop for a few years now, and it’s a hole that they desperately need to fill. Have they written Isaiah Kiner-Falefa off as the everyday guy for the job? During the 2022 postseason, the Yankees looked to the youngest player on their roster, Oswald Peraza, to step up to the plate in IKF’s stead. I think he could be the right guy for the job if given the chance from day one, and I remain excited about his potential. He is aggressive in the zone, he has fired off missiles clocked at over 88 MPH from SS, and his range is impressive. What is most impressive about him, though, and perhaps a tool that could really improve the Yankees’ lineup, is his base running. In 40 attempts last season, he stole 35 bases across AAA and MLB. This may be a question even the Yankees don’t have the answer to right now. Spring training will be a tell-all.
As we approach Spring Training, I’ll be sharing my predictions in a series of articles, including write-ups on the infield, outfield, lineup, pitching staff, and more. Stay tuned!
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