The New York Yankees have some great bats in their lineup, but how will they stack them when Opening Day rolls around?
Hall of Famer and St. Louis Cardinals great Rogers Hornsby had a unique outlook on the baseball offseason.
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball,” he said. “I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Well, baseball fans, it’s mid-January. The New York Yankees’ pitchers and catchers will report to Tampa in just under four weeks, on Feb. 14. Spring Training is just around the corner, and patience is a virtue.
And as the late, great Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. Average baseball fans aren’t like their heroes on the diamond. When the season wraps up, they don’t have the luxury of going on golfing vacations during the winter or home to mansions with toys worthy of MTV Cribs. No, most baseball fans are forced to do just what Hornsby did: look out the window and wait for spring.
That said, Yankees fans have had a roller coaster of an offseason. James Paxton was acquired from the Seattle Mariners. J.A. Happ was re-signed along with CC Sabathia and Zach Britton. The lineup was boosted with the addition of DJ LeMahieu, and Manny Machado is just barely still a possibility. When Spring Training starts, everyone will be paying attention.
Thus, as I watched the snow fall outside my window the other night, I found myself wracking my brain. The Yankees have so many talented bats this season. How is manager Aaron Boone going to fill the lineup card with such a stacked group of hitters?
Well, fans, here’s an activity to help pass the time. Let’s try and predict the lineup for Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles!
Gleyber Torres, SS
Any fan who watched Gleyber Torres’ rookie season knows he’s more than capable of handling the leadoff spot. He spent most of his time batting ninth in 2018, though he hit in every spot except leadoff and second. He just turned 22 and is a year wiser, so it’s time to improve his standing in the lineup.
Look at it this way. Torres had a Derek Jeter-like buzz around him upon debuting last year, and his intelligent approach to hitting shows it. He knows when to go for a home run and when to play small ball. His inside-out swing is easily reminiscent of The Captain. He still needs to learn to not get fooled on 12-6 curveballs, but that can be fixed with practice and studying tape of himself.