For the New York Yankees and Yankee fans everywhere, there are many unanswered questions as spring training starts tomorrow. Today at 2 pm, this writer had the privilege of being in on a conference call as an editor for EmpireSportsMedia.com. General Manager of the New York Yankees Brian Cashman answered questions on varied subjects asked from across all the baseball writers in on the call. The call lasted just under an hour.
The interview started with a question about if any players had tested positive from the New York Times. Cashman said he couldn’t answer that per the agreement with the players association. He did say the cases “that Yankee personnel did have were mild and that they had recovered.” He also offered prayers for those that have not had mild cases. Answering a question as to if any Yankee players had opted out, he said, “there are none,” and that all the crew had reported to the stadium, although not all players.
Brian Hock of MLB.com if Aaron Judge would be ready for the season. He asked for an update and what Cashman’s confidence level was. Cashman did not answer the question directly but said that he was “optimistic that he would be ready.” He stated that Judge has been doing all workout activities has been swinging off the Tee and will be hitting off of live pitching in the coming days.
When asked about Aaron Hicks, James Paxton and Giancarlo Stanton Cashman recalled all the different injuries and surgeries that took place and said: “that they are ready, and it will depend on conditioning during the next few weeks.” As far as Stanton is concerned, he seemed less optimistic that he would be starting in the outfield but would definitely be a DH. He made it clear several times that the next few weeks will be telling on if any of these players will be able to withstand a 60 game season over 66 days.
Another interesting thing revealed in the call was that talks are going on now about whether to have any exhibition games during spring training 2.0. Cashman said the owners are talking about it but no decision had been made. He made it clear that the New York Yankees would not want to play in any road games during training.
The New York Post asked if all the players were there at Yankee Stadium, Cashman responded saying no they aren’t without cited which players had no arrived. He cited different travel restrictions from countries like Chile, Japan, and other countries. He said they hoped to be in full force in the coming days. When he was asked if the pitchers would be ramped up by the time the season starts, he said he would have to defer that question to the coaches, but added the New York Yankees, new pitching ace Gerrit Cole was already at the Studium “working his tail off.”
When the discussion turned to the August 25 trade deadline, he was asked if there would be more action or less action due to the shortened season. Cashman responded that he thought there would be less, as general managers and managers are too busy spending time on trying to make a full season happen. He did say that if a special opportunity was to arise and COVID-19 or injuries caused a need, and there was “a chess piece available we are in it to win it, that’s the challenge ahead.”
In recalling the entire interview content, Cashman continually referred to the COVID-19 virus and the effect it could have on the season. When asked about the health protocols, he said that he has the 101-page health initiative, and it will be a challenge and costly one to implement all of the procedures. He stated that he had no anxiety about the screening or anything related to the season. He sees the challenges as “an opportunity to do everything to have a champion run at the World Series.”