With all the potential match-ups and offensive talent to consider, Aaron Boone is not ruling out the possibility of putting superstar Aaron Judge in the leadoff spot.
When you have names like Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge to choose from when constructing your ideal batting order, all sorts of player combinations begin to scroll through your mind uncontrollably.
This is a brainstorming exercise that New York Yankees skipper Aaron Boone exhausts every day of Spring Training as the regular season quickly approaches. According to MLB.com contributor Dick Scanlon, Boone is considering batting his on-base machine in Aaron Judge at the top of the order.
Scanlon writes that Boone would possibly put Judge at leadoff against left-handed starters, which would give their customary leadoff man Brett Gardner the day off.
While someone who had as many strikeouts as Judge did in 2017 (208), the move doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But if you consider that Judge led baseball with his .422 on-base percentage and that the leadoff position allows for more at-bats, the move actually sounds pretty genius.
Additionally, stacking hitters like Judge, Stanton, Sanchez and Aaron Hicks against lefties would surely be a major cause for concern for any opposing manager. We could see such a move as early as the first series of the regular season whenever the Toronto Blue Jays decide to trot J.A. Happ out to the mound.
All I can say to thoughts of that scenario is “let the big dogs eat”!
On the Mend
As Boone tries to assess the myriad of outfield options he has at his disposal, there are two guys that he has yet to really get a good look at due to injury. NJ Advanced Media’s Brendan Kuty reports that Jacoby Ellsbury (strained oblique) and Clint Frazier (concussion) are still trying to make their way back to baseball activity, but the process is taking a little more time than either man could have anticipated.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) March 6, 2018
According to Kuty, Boone said that neither man traveled with the team to face the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon, nor were there any plans of any sort of baseball activities in the works for either outfielder. However, it does sound like Frazier is closer to getting on the field than Ellsbury.
With Ellsbury trying to justify the back end of his ridiculous contract and Frazier trying to make a team loaded with outfield talent, hopefully, they can get back on the field sooner than later to start pleading their cases to Boone and the rest of the Yankee coaching staff.
Baby Bombers Growing Up Fast
By now, most everyone is familiar with the hot spring start that Yankee prospect Miguel Andujar is off to, highlighted by his unexpectedly early four home runs. What people may not know, however, is that there are some other Baby Bombers that are equally turning the heads of fans and Yankee coaches alike.
Billy McKinney, a standout all of last spring training, hits his third HR of this spring, tattooing one to right-center to make it 7-2 Yankees in the ninth.
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 6, 2018
Boone did say of Tyler Wade that he "continues to be just an absolute spark whenever he plays. That play at the end of the game was special."
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 6, 2018
Not only do Ellsbury and Frazier have to worry about Stanton, Judge, Hicks, and Gardner being ahead of them on the team outfield depth chart, they now have to be taking notice of what Billy McKinney is doing. Additionally, Tyler Wade is most definitely making a good case to be the opening day second baseman until the team is likely to call up Gleyber Torres in late April.
With Miggy, Billy The Kid and now TWade turning heads seemingly everyday this spring, manager Aaron Boone’s job of filling out the back end of the 25-man roster is growing more and more difficult by the day.
Lind a Hand
While it may have been a curious move to some to add veteran 1B/OF Adam Lind to the Yankee mix, USA TodaySports Bob Nightingale gives us a little more insight as to the actual parameters of the Lind deal.
Adam Lind will earn base salary of $2 million if he makes #Yankees big league roster with $650k in incentives. If not on MLB roster by 3/22 or 6/1, he can request his release
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 6, 2018
Lind put together a pretty solid 2017 campaign: sporting a .303/.362/.513 slash line with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 116 games for the Washington Nationals last season.
Obviously, it would take some kind of awful injury-based disaster for Lind to get 116 games in with the Yankees this season. But with that sweet left-handed swing in conjunction with the infamous short porch in right field, those home run and RBI numbers would most certainly increase.
Even if there is no catastrophic injury to speak of, Lind serves as an extremely qualified and competent back up for Greg Bird at first base and even could serve as an emergency outfield replacement. In related news, Lind recorded his first spring hit as a Yankee in their 7-2 win over the Tigers yesterday afternoon.
That’s all for now from the Boogie Down, but make sure you stay tuned in right here at Elite Sports NY for all of your need-to-know Yankee info.