Anthony Volpe’s Yankees debut has finally arrived

As the Yankees packed the visitors’ clubhouse at Nationals Park on Tuesday and prepared to fly to New York with the meaningless spring games finally behind them, Aaron Judge thought about more details to work on before Opening Day.

He was talking about the Yankees captain, Anthony Volpe, and said he had to remind the 21-year-old shortstop of another important matter coming up in the Bronx Thursday afternoon: figuring out a way to say hello. Bleacher Creatures at the top of the first inning.

“I have to talk to him about it, but he probably knows,” Judge said.

New Jersey kid who grew up an avid Yankee fan?

Of course he knew.

“I have to think about what I’m going to do because some guys have asked me,” Volpe said.

Anthony Volpe’s Yankees debut will come with friends and family among the 46,000 expected at Yankee Stadium.AP

Add to Volpe’s to-do list — he took one item off Wednesday when he decided to wear No. 11 during the regular season — a day before he makes his MLB debut in front of more than 46,000. Yankee Stadium fans, including a boatload of family and friends.

“Having a chance to have his first Opening Day in front of family and friends at Yankee Stadium, man, what a chance,” said Judge, who was the last Yankees starter in the Opening Day lineup in 2017. “I’m happy. for him. He’s going to be nervous, there’s going to be nervousness, but what I’ve seen in camp, that kind of thing doesn’t faze him. Just go out there and do what put him in this position.”

The only time Volpe showed nerves on the outside this spring was when he called Aaron Boone’s office Sunday to find out if he had made the roster.

In the rest of the camp, he exuded a calm and confident atmosphere as he dominated the para-short competition.

The Yankees won’t need Volpe to do anything more than what he’s done over the past six weeks.

He’ll start the season batting ninth, a move not necessarily meant to relieve pressure, Boone said, though it won’t hurt.

Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (77) is congratulated in the Yankees dugoutVolpe displayed a calm and composed demeanor in his win over the Yankees’ stop-stop battle this spring.USA TODAY Sports

And Gerrit Cole noted that it was important for Volpe to know he has teammates, specifically “big man” veterans Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo, referring to Judge and “guys on the sidelines.”

But the Yankees also believe Volpe has the makeup — as exciting as his talent during his rise through the minors — to handle the expectations and pressure of starting the season in the big leagues after hitting a triple after just 22 games. A.

“In a way, that’s what he’s grown up to do,” Boone said. “Being a young man and being 21 years old, he’s as equipped to deal with it as anyone. That’s one of the reasons we finally decided now is the time, because we feel it’s prepared to handle whatever comes next, from a makeup standpoint.

“There’s going to be bumps and stuff he’s had to navigate that he’s never been through, but I think his makeup is going to be able to handle it.”

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