Aaron Judge just said — without saying, of course — that he wants Anthony Volpe in the Opening Day lineup.
Now we watch and see how the Yankees react after their newly-promoted captain deployed his influence for perhaps the first time.
Judge’s comments about the phenom shortstop prospect on Wednesday, via MLB.com:
I think [Volpe has] all the makeup tools. He checks a lot of boxes — defensively, offensively. He’s a tough at-bat. He’s got the speed, which is a big factor now in the game. My thing has always been, if you’re the best player, it shouldn’t matter your age. You should be up helping the New York Yankees. It doesn’t matter if you’re 19 or 41. If you’re the best guy for the job, you should be playing.
Volpe has had a sterling spring. He’s the team’s future. And most importantly, he’s no Isiah Kiner-Falefa. There is still a long way to go. And if the Yankees decide Volpe needs some more seasoning before arriving to the big leagues, it would not be the end of the world. His 22nd birthday is at the end of April and he has only played 22 games at Triple-A.
But Volpe is going to be in the Bronx at some point this year barring unforeseen circumstances. So why not immediately? Judge certainly appears to feel this way. He did not say it directly. But he does not have to. Speak softly and carry a big stick, you know?
MORE ON ESNY:
• Could Woody Johnson be reason Jets-Aaron Rodgers deal gets done?
• Mets nostalgia overflowing during Italy-Cuba WBC matchup
• Jim Boeheim out at Syracuse after buzzer-beater loss
• Jersey patch ads could be coming for Yankees, Mets in near future
• Giants’ Daniel Jones is not really making $40 million a year
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.