New York Yankees’ top shortstop candidate, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, played center field yesterday and passed the outfield test with flying colors.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa arrived in the Bronx ahead of last season through a trade from Minnesota Twins. The 27-year-old was viewed as the New York Yankees’ potential solution for the starting shortstop woes. Hence, they fielded Isiah at the shortstop for 142 games, wherein he scored .261 with mere four home runs and 48 RBIs in total. Naturally, the fans and team felt let down.
However, the Yankees’ desire to trade away Isiah Kiner-Falefa into this season remained unfulfilled as they could not find a reasonable contract. Hence, the front office was left with no choice but to give Isiah one last opportunity at shortstop. However, he faced tough competition from Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza and eventually had to drop out. Meanwhile, the Yanks have chalked up a better plan which is apparently working well for the gold glove awardee.
Yankees Shortstop Candidate Isiah Kiner-Falefa Shines At Center Field
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Yankee fan base’s fixed target, failed to create an impact at shortstop this spring training. The fierce battle with Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza became too much to bear. Hence Isiah decided to take a step back. Meanwhile, Harrison Bader’s oblique injury came in as a blessing in disguise for the shortstop. The center field was wide open for anyone to mark its territory. Isiah saw this as a perfect opportunity to transform himself into a utility player.
Subsequently, the Yankees gave in to the gamble and fielded Isiah Kiner-Falefa into the outfield. Isiah took up the glove for the first time since 2017 in the spring training outing against the Detroit Tigers. He also got rid of the nervousness pretty quickly and took some clean catches. However, his lack of game sense was exposed on a few occasions wherein he threw the ball on the wrong bases, which led to the batters stealing easy runs. Further, speaking on experience, the gold glove awardee said he felt like being tested today as a utility player. He even accepted his mistakes on the field and vowed to get better.
Fans Approve Kiner-Falefa At Center Field
Meanwhile, the Yankee fan base, often engaged in a war or words regarding Isiah’s efficiency, had positive things to say about him for a change. They approve of Isiah Kiner-Falefa as a utility player and want to see him around for a more extended period of time. His throws and presence of mind in the outfield impressed everyone considering the fact that he played in the outfield after a gap of five years.
The New York Yankees could undoubtedly use Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s defensive skills in center field, as they’ve lost Harrison Bader for an indefinite period of time due to the injury. Adding him to the mix could provide stability and depth to the Yankees’ outfield. On top of that, Since the shortstop position is now out of the question, Isiah, on a personal level, should devote his focus to developing himself as a utility player in the future.