Anthony Volpe caps-off stellar spring with standout performance in Yankees’ exhibition game vs. Nationals – Boston Herald
The Anthony Volpe spring show featured a grand finale with a highly-anticipated encore beginning Thursday.
The Yankees fell to the Nationals 3-0 Tuesday at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. in an exhibition matchup as a final tune-up before the regular season kicks off on Thursday.
With a lineup that featured most of their likely Opening Day starters — excluding Giancarlo Stanton who had the afternoon off — Volpe was slotted in the No. 9 spot and displayed exactly why his 22 games at Triple-A were deemed enough to make the major league roster.
In the bottom of the second, Nationals’ shortstop CJ Abrams ripped a grounder up the middle in which Volpe gathered with a full extension dive and fired to first in time. A few minutes later, the 21-year-old ripped a 101.2 mph single to left field and capped off his performance with a stellar running full-extension catch that knocked him off his feet in the bottom of the fourth.
The New Jersey native finished 1-for-2 on the afternoon.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign was Volpe’s riffle to knab Abrams after robbing him of a hit — 103.5 mph off the bat with a .410 xBA. Abrams ranked in the 91st percentile in baseball as far as sprint speed last season and is widely regarded as a burner.
Throughout the shortstop battle of spring training that featured Oswald Peraza — who was optioned to Triple-A — and now utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa, questions of Volpe’s arm strength led to a projected destiny of winding up as a second baseman by some talent evaluators. However, if Tuesday was any indication, shortstop is his long-term home.
Nestor Cortes took the ball for the Bombers and was effective. The southpaw tossed four innings allowing three hits and one run working his pitch count up to 74. Cortes began spring training nursing a hamstring injury that delayed him a bit as he’s still not quite built up to a full workload.
Estevan Florial and Rafael Ortega will head to New York with the club, but no final decision has been made on either of them, Aaron Boone told reporters on Tuesday. The other outfielder that was in contention, Willie Calhoun, is going to be optioned to Triple-A.
Florial is out of options therefore if he doesn’t make the club, he will be placed on waivers for any team to claim him.
Boone also told reporters that Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton are heading to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre which would leave the current roster at a projected 12 pitchers with seemingly one-spot open furthering speculation of a trade or signing on the horizon.
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