The New York Yankees are going to play baseball in a little over two hours. And with it being the first Spring game of the year, the Yankees are going to send out almost all of their regulars.
The only one not playing is Jacoby Ellsbury, but even without Ellsbury in the lineup, it almost looks as if it could be the Opening Day lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 2nd. I normally don’t post starting lineups here, but I’ll make an exception since I have quite a few things to say about it:
Okay, now that we got the lineup out of the way, here are some thoughts:
— The Yankees clearly aren’t going to solve their leadoff hitter problem today since Ellsbury isn’t in the lineup. However, I did find it interesting that the Yankees put Gregorius behind Gardner. I know technically your best hitter should be in the three-hole, but imagine a lineup where Gardner and Sanchez hit back-to-back while Ellsbury is lower in the order.
— We’ll start getting a glimpse at the right field competition today. Clearly, Judge is playing in right field today while Hicks is in left. But having both Judge and Hicks in the lineup gives the Yankees a head start on evaluating them. I still think Judge might win the competition, although the Yankees love Hicks. But the only way I can see Hicks realistically winning the job is if Judge has a terrible Spring. Entering camp, the Yankees clearly have faith in Judge, especially since he put in extra work during the offseason.
— Here are the second string players for this afternoon: Kyle Higashioka C, Ji-Man Choi 1B, Ruben Tejada 2B, Gleyber Torres SS, Miguel Andujar 3B, Clint Frazier LF, Dustin Fowler CF, Rob Refsnyder RF, and Wilkin Castillo DH.