Tough day at the plate for Yankees' shortstop candidates
JUPITER, Fla. — The Yankees’ sizzling shortstop battle has cooled off a bit, at least at the plate.
Oswald Peraza went 0-for-3, dropping his average to .171, and Anthony Volpe went 0-for-4 in the Yankees’ 1-1 tie with St. Louis on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium.
Peraza, who started at second base, hit a long drive that was caught in leftfield in his first at-bat. That was an encouraging sign for manager Aaron Boone, who said before the game that he saw a drop-off in the quality of Peraza’s at-bats in Wednesday’s game.
“For the most part, he’s been all right,” Boone said. “[On Wednesday], he didn’t have great at-bats.”
Did Boone see improvement on Thursday?
“Good at-bat his first time where he really stepped on one,” Boone said. “Today, tough hitting conditions with the wind and stuff. Good to see him smoke the ball that first at-bat and get into a good count and get a good pitch and really hit it well. That was good, so hopefully build on that.”
Volpe, who started at short, is batting .279 in his first spring training.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that no roster decisions — including the identity of the Opening Day shortstop — are likely to be announced before the end of spring training.
Kyle Higashioka, who didn’t get any at-bats as the third catcher for the United States. team in the World Baseball Classic, returned to Yankees camp in Tampa and immediately will begin a crash diet of multiple at-bat days to get ready for the season.
“It’s going to be a little challenging,” Boone said.
Former Met and Ward Melville star Steven Matz started for the Cardinals and allowed one run (a home run by Oswaldo Cabrera) in six innings . . . Greg Weissert (Bay Shore) gave up a run in an inning of relief for the Yankees.