With the 2018 MLB season getting underway just a day ago, the New York Yankees are already contemplating some player position changes. That’s because center fielder Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Here’s what it could mean for manager Aaron Boone’s lineup as he decides where to have sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton play in the short term.
An ESPN article from Coley Harvey reported that Boone could shift Aaron Judge to center field and Giancarlo Stanton to left field. Neither player has played in those positions during their pro career so far, as they have both mainly been featured in right field. However, the Hicks’ injury presents the opening that will need to be addressed over the next week-and-a-half. Boone mentioned that Stanton could end up playing in right and left field over the next few days.
The good news appears to be coming soon in terms of these position shifts. The team is hopeful that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will be back by the end of next week, as he’s expected to return from his oblique injury. If that happens, it will solve the team’s dilemma in terms of their outfield void. Ellsbury could be available by next Thursday, at the earliest, when the New York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles.
As far as Aaron Hicks goes, he has a right intercostal muscle strain in part of the rib cage, which was diagnosed as a grade 1 strain, the lowest potential severity of such an injury. The expectation is that he could return a week from this coming Sunday.
While Stanton and Judge could make adjustments, there’s also the potential for the Yankees to bring their second baseman, Tyler Wade, into the outfield for help. In addition, the team has recalled outfielder Billy McKinney from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. McKinney was expected to make his first appearance as a member of the Yankees’ MLB roster on Friday night and took over left field in his pro debut. He also got off to a quick start at the plate, as seen in the Yankees’ Twitter video (below).
The New York Yankees are off to a hot start, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 on Opening Day. Stanton was a big reason for that score, due to his two home runs at the start and finish of the nine inning affair. As of this report on Friday night, the Yankees were leading the Jays 2-1 in the top of the sixth.