Yankees bench several regulars for series opener against the Braves

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks
Mar 15, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) looks on from the dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are set to start a two-game series against the reigning National League East champions, the Atlanta Braves, at Yankee Stadium. Both teams are off to slow starts, but the visitors are starting to turn it around, while the Bombers have dropped five straight games and are in last place.

Jameson Taillon, with a 7.56 ERA to his name so far, will take the hill for the Yankees, while right-hander Charlie Morton will do the same for the Braves. Atlanta won’t have star outfielder Ronald Acuña at least in the series opener, as he is day to day with a mild abdominal strain.

Taillon will try to turn his season around after a couple of rough showings in his still short career with the Yankees.

The Yankees’ heads, including general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone talked about shaking things up on offense, as the unit has been mediocre to date. With an 87 wRC+, the Yankees’ bats have been well-below average in 2021.

The Yankees have Mike Ford in the lineup

Newly-recalled Mike Ford is in the lineup, batting sixth. The Yankees are benching regulars Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, and Rougned Odor for the series opener, paving the way for Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman to see some game action.

Ford will be making some starts at first base for the now-retired Jay Bruce. He could earn semi-regular playing time until mid-May if he performs.

Here is the Yankees’ full lineup:

1 DJ LeMahieu, 2B

  1. Aaron Judge, RF
  2. Brett Gardner, CF
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  4. Gleyber Torres, SS
  5. Mike Ford, 1B
  6. Gary Sanchez, C
  7. Gio Urshela, 3B
  8. Mike Tauchman, LF

Jameson Taillon, RHP

And the Braves’ lineup:

  1. Ehire Adrianza RF
  2. Freddy Freeman 1B
  3. Marcell Ozuna LF
  4. Travis d’Arnaud C
  5. Ozzie Albies 2B
  6. Pablo Sandoval DH
  7. Dansby Swanson SS
  8. Austin Riley 3B
  9. Guillermo Heredia CF

Charlie Morton, RHP