A minor league outfielder from the New York Yankees non-roster invitees made his spring training debut and emerged as a potential left-field candidate.
With the start of the 2023 MLB regular season just around the corner, the New York Yankees are still searching for a solution to their left-field dilemma. The void Andrew Benintendi left has not been filled even after two full months of the off-season. Moreover, as the team moves to spring training, the front office exhausts all possible options to find the perfect left-field candidate.
Meanwhile, outfielder Aaron Hicks has emerged as the top candidate for the left field until now. Further, Oswaldo Cabrera and Estevan Florial are also in the mix. On the other hand, Yankees captain Aaron Judge also volunteered to experiment on the left if necessary. However, the Yanks have one more candidate in the bullpen who is quietly making his case after making a stable spring training debut.
Rafael Ortega, New York Yankees Latest Left Field Candidate
Rafael Ortega, who signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees this offseason, has been making a strong impression in spring training. He made his debut against the Pirates and scored one run, two-run home runs, and three RBIs in three at-bats. While Ortega may not be a household name, he has had a solid career in the minor leagues. In 2021, he played in 103 games for the Chicago Cubs, 291 with 11 homers, 33 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases. However, the outfielder missed out 2022 season due to a lack of contract offers.
Nonetheless, Rafael Ortega is back with a bang. After signing a minor league contract with the Yankees, the outfielder immediately received an invite for major league spring training. Speaking on Rafael’s potential, Yanks manager Aaron Boone said the front office would have set eyes on Rafael throughout the spring training. Meanwhile, the outfielder weighed in on his chances of making a cut on the roster. He said playing for the Yankees is a dream for him. Moreover, since he arrived at the camp, Rafael feels the right opportunity is just around the corner, and he wants to do his best to grab that will both hands.
Aaron Judge To Play Left Field Next Week
As the New York Yankees are running out of players to fill in the left field, the team’s newly minted-captain has decided to step in. Apparently, Aaron Judge wants to experiment in left field to explore the possibility of moving in for the long run. However, for the slugger who hasn’t fielded in left since 2016, the experiment will be an uphill task. Nonetheless, Judge is up for the challenge and will play left field from next week onward.
Meanwhile, the Yankees still have faith in the Bryan Reynolds trade. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates are not moving an inch with their ridiculous demands. Even Bryan earlier avoided the Yanks beat writers to refrain from speaking on the issue. Overall, the Pirates’ outfielder’s fate hangs in the balance as the 2023 MLB regular season is inching closer with each passing day.