Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Akshita Patel

Despite Fans’ Backlash, Isiah Kiner-Falefa Joining Yankees’ Center Field On Opening Day

New York Yankees have chalked up an alternate plan to fit Isiah Kiner Falefa into the opening-day roster.

The 2023 MLB season is two weeks away, and teams have started building a final opening-day roster. The New York Yankees are set to face their arch-rivals, the San Francisco Giants, for the inaugural fixture on March 30. However, the Bombers find themselves in deep water after relentless injury concerns. Their key regular player will likely start the season on the injury list.


Hence, the Yankees are on a mission to make a few forced changes. For starters, Harrison Bader, the team’s regular center fielder, suffered from an oblique injury that ruled him out for six weeks. Hence, he will miss the opening-day game against the Giants. While the popular opinion declared Aaron Judge as the most sought-after replacement, the Yanks front office is looking on to play some gamble.

Manager Aaron Boone To Use Isiah Kiner-Falefa As A Utility Player

Isiah Kiner Falefa-Aaron Boone
Isiah Kiner Falefa-Aaron Boone (Yankees)

As the spring training enters its final stages, the positions battle is coming to an end. In the New York Yankees camp, the most fierce battle is fought between Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the starting shortstop role. However, Isiah seems to be losing the battle as he is unable to match the young blood’s intensity. Moreover, the Yankees have failed in their attempts to trade away the shortstop candidate. Hence, the front office now plans to use him as a utility player to fill in the holes in the outfield.

According to MLB insider Bryan Hoch, Aaron Boone, the Yankees skipper, will field Isiah Kiner Falefa at the center field in the coming week of spring training. Since Harrison Bader would be MIA for six weeks, the opportunity is golden for the shortstop to cement his place on the roster. Further, Isiah has dropped the dream of starting at a shortstop as Oswald Peraza will likely swoop in the job. Hence, the outfield remains his best bet to prove his worth to the Yankee fan base.

Aaron Judge & Oswald Cabrera: Next In Line To Fill In For Bader

If the Isiah Kiner-Falefa gamble does not work, the New York Yankees front office has some other options in the bullpen. For starters, Aaron Judge shall be their best bet, as he played at center last season before Bader made his way to the Yanks camp. He is well-versed in the position and can display exceptional defensive skills. The other option is utility player Oswaldo Cabrera. He Oswaldo losses the left field battle to Aaron Hicks, he can always move into the center.

Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media

Rafael Ortega could emerge as another potential candidate. The prospect initially came in for the left-field battle but has the potential to switch positions as per the needs. Furthermore, the Yankees’ top prospect this season, Jasson Dominguez, is too in contention for the spot. He is ruling the spring training with the bat at the moment. Hence, he could find a place in the starting roster, possibly in the outfield.