Aaron Judge In Left Field Could Occasionally Appear For The New York Yankees

Aaron Judge In Left Field Could Occasionally Appear For The New York Yankees

during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Aaron Judge’s experience as a left fielder under the massive New York Yankee spotlight is second to none.

By the end of this year, Judge could wind up with a handful of games in left field, the same area where the Yankees either hope Aaron Hicks is close to doing what he did in 2018 or Bryan Reynolds’ asking price drops significantly as time goes on.

The reason the left field umpire is becoming a topic in the Yankee camp is because for anyone paying attention to their exhibition game, there was the umpire patrolling left field for five innings with no fly balls and just one alone.

It was really a patrol because nothing happened during the umpire’s stay in left field. While Judge isn’t ready to become the regular left fielder, it’s something the Yankees could decide on when Giancarlo Stanton takes a break from being the designated hitter to play right field where he hit .258 with 11 homers in 34 innings. match, mostly. since i played 37 times in 2018.

“I haven’t gotten any action, so hopefully I can get back out there to get back out there to get some work,” Judge told reporters.

Even if his performances at that position are quiet, Judge’s ability to play there could give the Yankees more flexibility with their designated hitter lineup. Last year 16 players made at least one appearance as a DH led by Stanton’s 65 games there.

During the season, Judge agreeing to go there at times could give the likes of Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo a chance to enjoy the day off that goes with being a designated hitter, and those names were basically why why Judge offered to try the left. Wednesday field.

“He was talking about left field and trying to figure out ways to get the ‘G’ out in right and I said, ‘Well just put me in there,'” Judge told reporters. “If you want to give JD (Donaldson) a DH day or DJ (LeMahieu) a DH day, I can play lefty like I played in college. Let me take a crack at it.”

Either way, when Judge played 78 games in center, it was a smooth transition to defense, which was hardly a surprise and even though his last appearances there were for seven games at Triple-A during the 2016 season.

And considering the desire to get Stanton more right-handed appearances, Judge’s ability to handle left field at times could improve the lineup. On Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone told reporters that he expects Stanton to pitch 40 to 50 games.

“It makes some sense to do it there,” Boone told reporters. “Hopefully he can get up to speed on the rep side because it’s something that goes into the next corner. It’s one thing to go to the center of the field where guys always feel a little bit more natural.

“It’s a different look and the fact that he’s had a few days to get back to back-to-back games, I think that will serve him well.”

And maybe when Judge’s next appearance comes on Thursday, he’ll get a few more chances in an actual game setting.

“You can’t simulate that with the cleats or the foreplay of machine work,” Judge told reporters. “The only way to do that is to get reps in the game.”

And that means seeing different trajectories or ball spins to left field, which has always been wider than right field in any of the three versions of Yankee Stadium.

“You’re only dealing with right-hand dragline driving,” Judge told reporters. “I think that’s the biggest factor. Everything else is pretty much the same.”

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I have covered the Yankees and other sports since 2005 for a variety of other outlets such as SportsTicker, Sports Xchange and Metro New York. I have also been a member of the BBWAA since the 2016 season. I have also worked on NBA broadcasts since 2012 providing statistical information to broadcasters.

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