Kiner-Falefa Appears To Admit Losing Shortstop Battle

You don't have to read very hard between the lines when listening to New York Yankees' incumbent shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to know that he realizes he's losing the battle to retain his job at the keystone. 

While it appears that the shortstop gig is tilting towards one of the team's two top shortstop prospects—Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe—IKF has been moving around the diamond lately in manager Aaron Boone's lineup.  

Kiner-Falefa has gotten a couple of starts at second base this spring, and is expected to move to third base next game, and then the outfield at some point as well. He understands full well what all this positional versatility could be foreshadowing for him: 

“That’s three in a row moving around,” Kiner-Falefa said, as relayed by Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “I don’t want to make too much of it, but it’s definitely something. 

"I have an opportunity the next couple of days to put myself in a role. If it’s not at shortstop, then maybe that [versatility] allows us to hold on to me." Maybe even sounds like he's concerned about his Yankees future if he doesn't show at these other positions.

“At the end of the day, I want to be here and I want to win. Whether it’s playing shortstop, utility … there’s an opportunity to win a World Series here and I want to be a part of it.” 

IKF has played 123 games at 3B in his major league career, and 20 games at 2B. But the outfield? He hasn't played out there since his minor league days—2017 and earlier.

The need for more outfield help has intensified recently, as the Yankees have learned that center fielder Harrison Bader will not be ready for the start of the season.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports