Despite the New York Yankees’ success last season, they had a tremendous problem with keeping their players healthy. The 2019 Yankees racked up the most injuries of any team that season and in MLB history. Even though most of those guys have recovered and are looking to have a different story this season, two big players are still questionable for this season.
Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are still dealing with injuries, and timetables for their return are uncertain. Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery following last year’s postseason and has been rehabbing ever since. He’s been throwing for some time now and began taking batting practice. Judge, on the other hand, is still a mystery as to how his recovery is going. He hasn’t resumed any baseball activities since he was shut down and there’s no telling when he will.
General manager Brian Cashman did mention that he expects Judge to return sometime this summer, and it’s expected that Hicks will do the same.
What could the outfield look like without Hicks and Judge?
It’s no question that losing Hicks and Judge from the lineup is a big loss for the New York Yankees. With that being said, the Yankees are lucky enough to have incredibly talented backups. I believe the outfield depth could look something like this:
The Yankees are very fortunate enough to have several players that can play pretty much the entire outfield. Mike Tauchman and Brett Garder are both dual-position players, and you can stick Tyler Wade out there and he can hold it down. Despite the obvious lack of solid defense, Clint Frazier can also play multiple positions.
I believe that Mike Tauchman should be the primary backup outfielder due to his tremendous defense and strong bat. Due to his history of constant injuries, Giancarlo Stanton shouldn’t play left field every day, and that’s where Mike Tauchman can come into play.
With Hicks and Judge out with injuries, Clint Frazier could play right field, Tauchman in center field, and Stanton in left field. This, to me, is the best option for the Yankees. Those are three above-average hitters that can fill the void while Hicks and Judge work to get 100% healthy.