Throughout the day, I will be looking at the battles for the final spots on the Yankees roster: the last reliever, the battle for CF, and the utility infielder fight. I started with the 7th reliever, and will now continue by looking at the utility infielder role.
When the preseason started, most Yankees fans assumed that the UI role would come down to a battle between Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa. Although many hoped that they would go out and sign a veteran with a solid bat to fill that role, Brian Cashman’s reputation of skimping on the end of the bench made that unlikely. Alex Rodriguez’s injury and Derek Jeter’s involvement in the WBC changed the landscape a bit, as Ransom was given the starting #B job and Ramiro Pena looked good at short in Jeter’s stead. Before we dig into the spring stats, let us take a look at some praise for Pena:
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“When I first saw him three years ago, you could knock the bat out of his hands,” said one veteran scout whose primary assignment is in the minor leagues.