LAKELAND, Fla. — The Yankees tinkered with their shortstop competitors Friday, putting Anthony Volpe on the place and utilizing Oswald Peraza at second base, a flip-flop from earlier video games, when the 2 prime prospects performed collectively.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa has taken a step again from rivalry — really, just a few dozen steps again.
The Yankees’ 2022 beginning shortstop started his new function as a super-utilityman Friday, when he grabbed a lately acquired outfield glove that also will not be totally damaged in and performed heart discipline for six largely promising innings.
Kiner-Falefa knocked off his nerves early, catching the primary two outs of the sport, and proceeded to look fairly pure in heart — a place he had not performed since a Double-A sport in 2017.
On just a few events, although, his inexperience confirmed.
“I feel like I got tested in every way today for the most part,” Kiner-Falefa mentioned after an 8-7 loss to the Tigers at Publix Field.
Kiner-Falefa proved instantly he may catch the straightforward outs, retiring Austin Meadows and Jonathan Schoop on routine flyballs to open the sport.
Three batters later, when Andre Lipcius singled to right-center with runners on first and second, Kiner-Falefa charged in and to his left, corralled the ball and heaved a powerful throw dwelling.
The throw was too late, and it was in all probability to the incorrect base: Nick Maton, who started on first base, moved to 3rd as a result of the throw went dwelling.
Kiner-Falefa mentioned he was glad along with his arm, and he believes his decision-making will enhance.
“I probably should’ve thrown to third,” mentioned Kiner-Falefa, who additionally has performed second, third and shortstop this spring. “But I was happy to just get an opportunity to throw the ball.”
His subsequent mistake was psychological, too.
In the third inning, Detroit’s Colt Keith lofted a bloop into shallow left-center. Volpe, at shortstop, backed up with uncertainty, and Aaron Hicks charged from left discipline.
Hicks finally known as for it however couldn’t end what would have been a exceptional, tumbling catch.
Keith ended up with a triple.
“That was probably my ball. I lined up on the wrong side,” mentioned Kiner-Falefa, who mentioned he misinterpret the positioning playing cards: He ought to have been shaded to left-center and as an alternative was in right-center. “That was the one time I messed up my alignment. That can’t happen in the real game.”
The field rating doesn’t present an error, and Kiner-Falefa thinks extra time in heart can get rid of the psychological miscues.
He mentioned he feels snug there, and it’s attainable the Yankees will throw him in heart in an early regular-season sport.
Harrison Bader’s indirect damage will maintain him out at the least for just a few weeks to start the season, and the Yankees don’t wish to threat Aaron Judge’s legs through the use of him day by day in heart.
Manager Aaron Boone praised Kiner-Falefa’s athleticism and footwork and known as Friday a “good start.”
“I think him moving around is something that not only will serve us well, but I think he’s cut out for it,” Boone mentioned of Kiner-Falefa, who’s 6-for-25 (.240) with a house run and 4 steals within the Grapefruit League.
Kiner-Falefa will not be completed enjoying shortstop and will bounce again there Saturday, because the Yankees check whether or not he can rotate between spots with out concern.
But Kiner-Falefa seems to be their third shortstop possibility proper now, with Peraza and Volpe vying for the Opening Day job.
Kiner-Falefa will probably be preventing with Oswaldo Cabrera for a utility function, although Boone has mentioned he can envision each versatile fielders cracking the roster.
“You see guys like [the Dodgers’] Chris Taylor, Cabrera, [the Red Sox’s] Kiké [Hernandez],” mentioned Kiner-Falefa, who gained a Gold Glove at third base and in addition performed catcher whereas he was with the Rangers. “The good teams had multiple guys like that. It wasn’t just one guy.”
The 27-year-old, who had a tough first season in The Bronx and have become used to boos, has embraced his new actuality.
If the Yankees don’t want him at shortstop, Kiner-Falefa needs to assist elsewhere.
“That’s the thing about Izzy since he’s gotten here,” Boone mentioned. “He just wants to win, and he wants to win in pinstripes.”