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Yankees Notes: Kiner-Falefa, Volpe, Trevino

Yankees Notes: Kiner-Falefa, Volpe, Trevino

Yankees infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been at the center of plenty of speculation this spring. That’s both revolved around whether he’d hold onto the starting shortstop job with youngsters Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe on the horizon and whether he could be traded to an infield-needy team like the Dodgers or Rockies. Now, Kiner-Falefa’s role for the Yankees may be coming into focus as he has begun taking reps in center field, as noted by’s Bryan Hoch.

Kiner-Falefa doesn’t offer much with the bat, as demonstrated by his career 82 wRC+, indicating he’s been roughly 18% worse than league average for his career. Despite that, he’s still been a valuable player throughout his career due to his defense. In the infield, he’s won a Gold Glove at third base while also playing a quality shortstop and the occasional second base. He even caught 586 innings for the Rangers early in his career and now could add center field to his positional versatility.

For a Yankees team already utilizing versatile players such as DJ LeMahieu and Oswaldo Cabrera, Kiner-Falefa seems poised to provide yet another versatile bench piece in the Bronx, allowing manager Aaron Boone to mix and match as he sees fit in his infield. The Yankees lost center fielder Harrison Bader to an oblique strain last week. It’s generally expected that Aaron Judge will slide over from right field until Bader returns, but Kiner-Falefa taking well to center field would give Boone some additional flexibility if he wanted to slide Judge back to the corner on certain days.

More from the Yankees…

  • Boone tells reporters, including Jon Heyman of the New York Post, that Volpe is “definitely in the mix” to be the starting shortstop this season. Volpe, a consensus top 15 prospect in the game, is regarded as the best hitter of the options available to the Yankees at shortstop, and a capable defender (though fellow youngster Peraza grades out better defensively at the position). Volpe split last season between the top two minor league levels, hitting .249/.342/.460 with 21 home runs in 132 games. He only played 22 of those contests at the Triple-A level, while Peraza got into 99 Triple-A contests before playing in his first 18 MLB games.
  • Boone tells reporters, including Hoch, that catcher Jose Trevino has been out of action with a right wrist sprain recently. Boone notes that while Trevino is expected to resume play sometime this week, an injection is still possible to speed up…

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