Yankees

Arnab Bose

CHECKOUT: Is Austin Wells Worthy Of A Spot In New York Yankees Lineup?

The New York Yankees have come a long way since the end of the 2023 season. Moreover, they ended the last season with an awful 82-80 record. On top of that, the NY side had the second-worst batting average last year. They were only better than the nine-time champions, the Oakland Athletics. Moreover, the New York team had depth in their bullpen in 2023. However, they realized the importance of making significant changes in the offseason. That’s why the NY side sacrificed several of their pitchers and catchers to sign some high-profile outfielders.

Clearly, they needed more power in their offense and outfield. That’s why they went all-in for landing Juan Soto. Along with the Dominican superstar, the Yankees signed Trent Grisham. And previously, the arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox, traded Alex Verdugo to the Bronx Bombers. However, in exchange, they had to give up a lot of resources from their bullpen. But then, the Yankees have added several players, too, to increase depth. Now, the concern for the Yankees manager is to figure out the perfect lineup during the spring training. Fans might wonder if catcher Austin Wells deserves a spot in the lineup. 

   

Austin Wells’ Defense Should Be Good Enough To Justify A Lineup Spot

Yankees
Yankees catching prospect Austin Wells Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Austin Wells is a pretty good catcher like Francisco Alvarez. Wells has the same bat-over-glove rep as Alvarez. He might get a chance this year to make the roster. Who knows if Wells can get into a 50-50 catching split with Jose Trevino? However, the Yankees Faithful can even consider even more impact from him. Moreover, Austin Wells can lengthen the Yankees lineup with his lefty bat. But many fans and media people wonder why the Yankees have not tried Wells in the first base or as the DH and at the outfield yet. Perhaps the Yankees are planning to use him for trade business.

Former Yankees players like Michael King still praise Austin Wells for his defensive abilities. In a one-month cameo last September, Wells outperformed his defensive rep as he took his first positive step in the big league. Despite Austin’s impressive defense, Ben Rortvedt started on five occasions, which were the final five starts of Gerrit Cole. Moreover, Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that Cole told him that he is okay with Wells catching him. Additionally, Cole said Wells would catch him at times. However, that’s no guarantee for Wells and his spot in the lineup. 

Yankees Ace Must Feel Comfortable With His Catcher

Gerrit Cole Yankees
Gerrit Cole Yankees Source: CBS Sports

Previously, Gerrit Cole also said all the right things about Gary Sanchez. However, Kyle Higashioka replaced Sanchez for a whole year later. Before Kyle, Sanchez was the catcher of the first eight starts of the righty ace pitcher. Then, Kyle got that job over a year before Jose Trevino replaced him in 2022. Then, he got lost for a whole season last year. Moreover, The Post’s Sherman said Gerrit Cole is demanding and precise.

And since he won the Cy Young Award last year, it is paramount for the Yankees to make him comfortable with whoever he needs as a catcher. However, it can be even beyond Cole’s call. The Yankees believe in Austin Wells and his bat. Hence, they might want him regularly in the lineup. Moreover, Wells said the team has got so many great catchers. It really pushes him to “Work harder and compete.” 

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