Yankees owner firm in support of struggling Volpe

NEW YORK — 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.'”

In recent weeks, Volpe has shown signs of frustration, nearly slamming his bat after stranding the tying run on third to end Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox. While Volpe has struggled hitting all year, he has begun struggling with the glove as well, tallying three outs below average, ranking among the worst defenders at the position.

Parts of the fan base are clamoring for infield prospect Oswald Peraza, who is having a strong season in Triple-A, hitting .311 with 10 home runs, 21 RBIs, 21 runs and a .980 OPS with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. While Peraza continues flourishing in the minor leagues, Steinbrenner expressed his faith Volpe will turn things around.

“Well you never know, but right now [Peraza’s] at Triple-A. He’s having a good year,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ll see. I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the season that either one of them would be starting for us. I knew they were coming and I knew they were coming strong, but I don’t believe I was ever out there saying it with the plan to have both of them playing at the beginning of 2023.”

With the trade deadline nearly a month away, Steinbrenner said the Yankees will be looking to add, but did not specify whether they prioritized pitching or hitting, given the team’s injury situation with outfielders Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader and pitcher Carlos Rodon all on the injured list.

“I’m not trying to decoy, but I mean we still got a ways to go to the trade deadline,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got to see when Rodon comes back. Right now he, he’s on schedule; everything’s looking good. We got to see if [Luis Severino] stays healthy. So that’s a question for four weeks from now.”

Steinbrenner said last year’s trade deadline — when the team acquired starter Frankie Montas, outfielders Bader and Andrew Benintendi and relievers Lou Trivino and Scott Effross — did not work out as well as they hoped but would not have any impact on the team’s aggressiveness at this year’s deadline.

“No, it hasn’t worked out. But again, our process, we’re pretty thorough, and we talked to a lot of people,” Steinbrenner said. “With pitchers, you’re always going to take a chance on injuries, but we just felt that we needed to make those moves to get us over the hump.”

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