New York Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe wins the Fair and Square spring training shortstop contest.
He pitched, he made frequent and loud contact, he hit for power, and he stole bases.
The idea was for Volpe to carry that momentum into the regular season.
In the first three games of the season, he looked like a world champ: He accumulated a stolen base in each of those games.
After that, he has struggled to do much damage and his numbers have dwindled.
Manager Aaron Boone acknowledged he may need some rest and is giving him Tuesday off.
“Aaron Boone says Osvaldo Cabrera is starting at shortstop today. Anthony Volpe will have his first day off this season,” tweeted Talkin Yanks.
Aaron Boone says Osvaldo Cabrera is starting at shortstop today. Anthony Volpe will have his first off day this season
— Talking Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 11, 2023
The expectations from fans and the media have been unreasonable, and Volpe may have been a little overwhelmed.
For the season, he’s hitting a disappointing .129/.250/.194 in 36 plate appearances.
He has yet to hit a home run and has struck out in 33.3 percent of his visits to the plate, exactly one-third.
As a reminder, he had only seen 99 plate appearances in Triple-A, and he posted a .718 OPS.
It may take him a while to get used to MLB pitching, but once he does, he will be a very good shortstop.
The Yankees just need to be patient.
Giving him a day off is a good strategy at this stage: he may need a short break to rest and try again in the next game.
Many players who are currently stars are struggling right out of the gate, as the leap of talent from Triple-A to the big leagues is significant.
In the long run, Volpe will probably be fine.
Aaron Judge Has Left a Sure Tactic at the Plate