The New York Yankees have dealt with some adversity over the past few weeks in the injury category but have been unstoppable nonetheless. Despite having bullpen issues and relying on younger arms to supplement deficiencies, the Yankees have been destroying every opponent in their path. It’s crazy to think that reinforcements are on the way to help. That should be a scary reality for the rest of Major League Baseball.
One pitcher on the comeback trail is Domingo German, who’s been battling shoulder issues for quite a while. German threw three innings of live batting practice on Wednesday and has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment. It seems as if the Yankees are preparing him to return as a starter, potentially warming up in Triple-A and waiting for an opportunity for the Yankees to utilize him to mitigate fatigue down the road.
“Possibly,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters last week. “We’ll see as we get that plan going after this next live.”
For example, the Yankees had to scratch Luis Severino on Thursday after he experienced symptoms of a virus. In the future, German could be that spot starter they need driving over from Scranton on the same day. Alternatively, they could utilize him in a middle inning relief role, maximizing his value as a starting pitcher.
Aaron Judge’s position change:
One of the Yankees’ biggest defensive position changes this year has been Aaron Judge moving to centerfield. Judge, who’s having an MVP-caliber season, has locked down the middle of the outfield with ease, utilizing his big strides and incredible arm talent to mitigate runners in scoring position. This year, he’s only played 226.2 innings in right field, enjoying 248 innings in center. He has a perfect fielding percentage, including 52 putouts.
“I’ve always felt like I’m the center fielder,” Judge said on Friday, via the NY Post. “Even when they keep putting me in right field, I always treat everything like I’m the center fielder. But it’s good. Honestly, whatever the team needs. If this gives us the best lineup and gets the guys that we need out there every single day — I’ll play left field, I’ll play wherever they need me. It’s been fun.”
Making the transition to center should help Judge in the future, considering it is a far more valuable defensive spot. There is no doubt that betting on himself regarding his big contract extension is going to pay off.
Judge turned down a seven-year deal that would’ve paid him $30.5 million per season. That number is skyrocketing past $35 million with every passing day, leading the MLB with 25 homers this season and getting on base at a 38.8% clip.