Anthony Volpe of the Yankees runs to first base against...

Anthony Volpe of the Yankees runs to first base against the  Marlins during the first inning of a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 4 in Jupiter, Fla. Credit: Getty Images/Rich Storry

Middle Infielders

Anthony Volpe won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop as a rookie in 2023,  playing the position better in the big leagues than many talent evaluators thought he might based on his development in the minors (there was little debate whether Volpe could play in the majors; it was more speculation that second base rather than short might be his best position long-term). Gleyber Torres could not be in a better spot entering his walk year. The second baseman, coming off an overall terrific 2023, should see an increase in just about all of his offensive numbers given the quality of hitters in front of him.


Corner Infielders

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

It is here where there is the biggest combination of great potential but also great risk. DJ LeMahieu, 35, and Anthony Rizzo, 34, are coming off rough 2023 seasons and the Yankees need the pair to come back with strong years. A good spring training by LeMahieu got disrupted toward the end when he suffered a bone bruise after fouling a ball off his right foot. He will open the season on the injured list. That makes Oswaldo Cabrera the likely fill-in at third, though the Yankees have intensified their efforts this week in looking at options, whether it be veterans DFA'd from other camps or executing a trade of some kind. In addition to counting on LeMahieu playing a solid third base, the Yankees hoped to have him in the leadoff spot, setting the table for Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. Gleyber Torres or Alex Verdugo are the likeliest replacements in the leadoff spot with LeMahieu down. Rizzo’s lefty bat was sorely missed the last four months of the season as he dealt with post-concussion syndrome, as was his work at first base. There is not much organizational depth at third or first



Alex Verdugo

Alex Verdugo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

To start the season, the alignment most of the time is likely to be, from left to right, Alex Verdugo, Judge and Soto. Centerfield prospect Jasson Dominguez, coming off Tommy John surgery, could be added to this mix come late June, but the Yankees will worry about that when they have to. Though Soto is much more well regarded for his offensive abilities, it’s tough to find a more promising outfield trio in the league.



Austin Wells

Austin Wells Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall

A calf injury at the start of camp delayed using Jose Trevino in Grapefruit League games, but he returned midway through spring training and looked fine. But by then, prospect Austin Wells had impressed with the defensive strides he made during the offseason, and the lefthanded hitter enjoyed consistently good results at the plate. Don’t be surprised to see him emerge as the primary catcher.



Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall

A healthy Giancarlo Stanton – and there’s certainly no guarantees in that department, though he hopes his transformed body (lean as always but with less muscle mass) – will take most of the games at DH, but he and the Yankees hope he can play the occasional game in the field. Oswaldo Cabrera provides defensive flexibility but has not yet shown he can consistently hit major-league pitching. Trent Grisham is a superb defender and has some surprising pop with the bat.



Clay Holmes

Clay Holmes Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

If there’s one area the Yankees have consistently excelled in the last two decades-plus, it’s in building an effective bullpen. Having Mariano Rivera as the closer for much of that time, of course, makes that job easier. But Rivera retired after the 2013 season and the Yankees still have mostly succeeded in creating good bullpens. Even with Tommy Kahnle appearing as if he’ll start the season on the injured list, there still are plenty of arms here, including those belonging to Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga, Ian Hamilton, Caleb Ferguson, Victor Gonzalez and Luke Weaver, among others.


More Yankees headlines


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months