On a conference call Monday, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave several updates on the status of his players. He anticipates James Paxton, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to start the 2020 regular season and begin spring training 2.0 on July 3.
Paxton succumbed to surgery this off-season after doctors found a cyst in his lower back. Paxton would have missed a majority of spring training and likely the start of the regular season, but the extra time off allowed him to heal and return to form. He should earn live reps in exhibition games leading up to Opening Day in late July.
The Yankees will likely gain back two starting outfielders
As for Aaron Hicks, who underwent Tommy John surgery this past off-season, he was expected to return in mid-summer, and the Yankees will likely have their starting center fielder back for the 2020 campaign. Hicks played in 59 games last year, hitting 12 homers and earning a .235 average. He returned for the postseason, hitting .154 with one homer and three RBIs against the Houston Astros in their inevitable loss.
Hicks will likely slot into the number three spot in the hitting order, behind Aaron Judge, and before Giancarlo Stanton. As for Stanton, who struggled with calf issues this spring and multiple soft-tissue ailments last year, his recovery has gone well, and he seems to be on track to return with a full bill of health.
Stanton was also a question mark leading up to the start of the regular season if it had gone as scheduled. With the extra time to recover, he should be prepared to feature in late July. With the entire outfield nearly in place, with the potential exception of Aaron Judge, the Yankees will have a stacked defensive team and batting order, giving them fantastic odds at landing a playoff spot in the condensed season.