Anthony Volpe is struggling. Mightily. And the calls to send the Yankees’ rookie shortstop down to Triple-A are intensifying.
But it sounds like the Bombers have no plans to do so. And that comes from the very top of the organization.
Anthony Volpe may be struggling, but Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made clear that the shortstop’s not going anywhere.
Speaking at MLB headquarters ahead of the owners meetings, Steinbrenner said the team has had “zero conversations” about sending Volpe down to the minor leagues despite the 22-year old struggling at the plate, hitting .186/.260/.345 with nine homers and 1.0 bWAR in 67 games.
“I told Anthony at the end of spring training, ‘I said you were starting shortstop of the New York Yankees,’” Steinbrenner said. “‘This isn’t a three-week trial. So you’re going to be that through the ups and through the potential downs, and there probably will be downs.’”
Steinbrenner catches a great deal of baseball-related flak, and rightfully so in most cases. But he is dead-on correct here.
Yes, Volpe has hit a brutal rough patch of late and you can tell it is beginning to get to him. And yes, Oswald Peraza has been sensational in Scranton. But Volpe is far from the biggest issue with this poorly-constructed Yankees team. And when they gave him the job in spring training — after he earned it with a brilliant showing in Tampa — they made a decision to let him develop in the Bronx no matter how rough it got. And they have to remain committed to that decision.
This is a team that dragged Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks around forever. They can have a little patience with their next homegrown star. Especially one who has shown some pop, can make things happen on the base paths and has fielded adequately enough. Volpe will snap out of it. The Yankees need to stay the course.