Anthony Volpe versus Oswald Peraza for the shortstop gig wasn’t the only battle in the New York Yankees‘ spring training camp.
Several relievers were still fighting for a roster spot this week, and two outfielders were also trying to break camp with the team.
One of them did it, and the other is being granted his release.
“Estevan Florial will make the Yankees Opening Day roster. Rafael Ortega has been released,” Talkin’ Yanks tweeted.
Estevan Florial will make the Yankees Opening Day roster. Rafael Ortega has been released pic.twitter.com/lTazGi2yTP
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) March 29, 2023
Whether or not Florial had enough merits to occupy the roster spot over Ortega and Willie Calhoun (who was sent to Triple-A) remains open to discussion, but the Yankees liked two of his traits to complement the roster: speed and defense.
His spring performance, however, wasn’t the best.
Florial slashed .163/.280/.256 with a .536 OPS in exhibition play.
He did have a home run and five stolen bases, though, and with the bigger bases, the Yanks may see some potential in that latter area.
Ortega, however, had a much better spring.
His batting average was nothing to write home about at .158, but he did have 10 walks, a .474 slugging percentage, and a .801 OPS.
He homered three times and stole two bases.
If the Yankees didn’t give him the chance he deserved, he will likely get one from another team that values his skillset.
He offers a bit of everything: power, speed, contact, and on-base ability.
As for Florial, he needed to prove he made strides as a hitter during the offseason, but that was not the case.
His roster spot is there now, but if he can’t produce offensively, he will never be more than a defensive specialist/reserve outfielder.
That’s better than most, to be honest, but falls short of the potential he once had.NEXT: Anthony Volpe Was Given Great Advice By Yankees Legend