Hal Steinbrenner stands by Anthony Volpe as Yankees’ starting SS

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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Tuesday that struggling rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe is not in danger of being sent down to the minor leagues

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Steinbrenner spoke to reporters ahead of Major League Baseball owners meetings and said the Yankees have had “zero conversations” about sending Volpe, 22, to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

New York named Volpe its starting shortstop at the conclusion of spring training.

“I told Anthony at the end of spring training, ‘I said you were starting shortstop of the New York Yankees,’ ” Steinbrenner said. “‘This isn’t a three-week trial. So you’re going to be that through the ups and through the potential downs, and there probably will be downs.’

Ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the rival New York Mets, Volpe has played in all 67 of the Yankees‘ games this season, which leads the majors. But he’s batting just .186 and has seen his spot in the batting order drop from leadoff to ninth

Volpe has nine home runs, five doubles, two triples and 26 RBIs, along with 14 stolen bases. But he’s in the midst of a 3-for-29 slump dating to May 31. He has struck out 77 times with 22 walks in 250 plate appearances.

He has also committed seven errors.

“My belief in Anthony is that the cream is going to rise to the top,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Tuesday’s game. “I believe in his ability and the person, that he’s going to be an outstanding player in this game.

Steinbrenner also said the Yankees would be buyers at the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but declined to hint at what positions they would target

The owner stressed that the team has not been fully healthy for most of the season. Reigning American League MVP Aaron Judge is on the injured list for the second time and left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, a free agent signing expected to upgrade the starting rotation, has yet to make his team debut while working back from forearm and back injuries.

“We’ve got to get healthy,” Steinbrenner said. “I know everybody has injuries, but it’s been pretty bad this year from Day One. Unlike last year where we were doing very, very well and then we got hit with injuries in July-ish, this has just been a constant thing.”

–Field Level Media

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