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DJ LeMahieu batting leadoff, Anthony Volpe in the 9-hole for Opening Day vs. Giants

We go over the Yankees Opening Day lineup against San Francisco.

Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees takes batting practice prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 30, 2023 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Volpe is making his MLB debut. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Yankees released their lineup for Opening Day for the 2023 MLB season on Thursday afternoon vs. the San Francisco Giants. The big question heading into Opening Day was where will rookie SS Anthony Volpe bat to start the season. Volpe is in the 9-hole with veteran DJ LeMahieu batting leadoff. This isn’t all that surprising a move from manager Aaron Boone.

This isn’t to suggest Volpe will remain batting last in the order all season. Boone probably wants to ease Volpe into the Majors and this is one way to do it. Batting leadoff in your MLB Debut at Yankees Stadium to open the season is a lot of pressure for anyone. Volpe should be able to rise up to that pressure and eventually overtake DJ for the leadoff role. It’s a long season so don’t buy into this too much.

This also isn’t a bad spot for Volpe. This is similar to what Boone used to do with another player who wore No. 11 — Brett Gardner. The former Yankees OF was able to get on base and steal bags, so that’s what Volpe will look to do when the lineup turns to the top. Getting into scoring position for LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo will be important for Volpe out the gate.

Volpe enters this game and the season as +500 to win AL Rookie of the Year, tied for the second-best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. He was a trendy bet to win ROTY after making the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. Chances are the Yankees will ride the waves of rookie ups and downs. If nothing else, Volpe is a plus-fielder and has the potential to win a gold glove in his career. His speed should also prove valuable if the bat lacks pop initially.