After spending most of his career in right field and spending much of 2022 in center, the AL MVP may be leading reps in left field this spring. Yankees manager Aaron Boone reporters tell, including Bryan Hoch of MLB.comthat Judge is playing left field “on the table” for this spring.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported yesterday that this is a consideration, with the goal of allowing a slugger. Giancarlo Stanton, who is considered the team’s leading designated hitter, to play right on his days in the outfield because Yankee Stadium’s outfield is much wider in left than right. For his part, the Judge told reporters, including ESPN’s Marly Rivera, that Stanton didn’t mind playing nicer and taking substitutes on the left if necessary.
Stanton struggled with durability early in his Yankees career, including just 41 games played in the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined. Since then, his transition to playing DH seems to have primarily helped him stay on the field, as he has played a combined 249 games over the past two seasons, with only 64 of those games including an appearance in the outfield. . In 2022, Stanton’s 34 games in the outfield were right, as Judge spent most of his time in center field. This year, the 2022 trade deadline acquisition Harrison Bader figures to get most of the reps in center field, which means Judge will spend more time in left if Stanton is to continue making the majority of his starts in the right outfield.
More from the American League…
- Corey Brock of Cumann Luthchleas Gael yesterday discussed the role Sailors right-handed Matt Brash, who is set to begin the 2023 season as a member of the bullpen. Brash made the 2022 Opening Day roster as a starter but struggled mightily, posting a 7.65 ERA over five starts before being demoted to Triple-A. Brash returned later in the season in relief and dominated, posting a 2.35 ERA in 30 2/3 innings of work out of the bullpen down the stretch. Brock notes that Brash hopes to get another shot at starting in the future, and while he’s not being extended this spring, the Mariners are still open to the possibility down the line.
- Tigers President of baseball operations Scott Harris spoke to the media, including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News, yesterday about the relatively quiet offseason in Detroit. Harris noted that after a disappointing 96-loss season, it didn’t make sense to get short-term veterans to take valuable bats that he asked young players to be part of the next core. Detroit acquired several such players, especially in the trade that sent relievers Gregory Soto to the Phillies. The deal brought that back Matt Vierling, Nick Matonand Donny Sandseach to get playing time in the big leagues with Detroit in 2023.
- Staying in the AL Central, White Sox GM Rick Hahn discussed how Chicago’s offseason went with reporters yesterday, including The Athletic’s James Fegan. The White Sox made three key additions to their roster after a disappointing 81-81 campaign, signing righty Mike Clevingeroutdoor Andrew Benintendiand most recently an infielder Elvis Andrews with major league deals, with Benintendi’s five-year, $75MM contract as the only multi-year deal of the group. Hahn, referring back to his comments earlier in the offseason that he expected the club to be active in the trade market, noted the discrepancy between that expectation and what happened, saying “I expected that more trades … You go into the offseason with needs and potential fits, and during the season, you adjust based on what’s viable, both in free agency and through trade. Sometimes team prices are different than appointed.” As Fegan notes, a quiet season down south is unsurprising, leading the club to expect the payroll to remain unchanged until 2023.