While the New York Yankees face an acute shortage of outfielders in 2023, the team now has overflowing depth for the upcoming season. Owing to multiple trades, OFs Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and Alex Verdugo landed in the Bronx, thus bolstering the outfield depth. However, the overflowing options have put skipper Aaron Boone in a fix.
The Yankees outfield lineup for the 2024 season will consist of Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Alex Verdugo. But who fields where remains a mystery. Moreover, Aaron Boone will have a tough time allocating the center field spot as it remains one of the most tedious positions of all time. Is Aaron Judge an option? But is he the right candidate for the role?
Aaron Judge Not The Ideal Candidate For Center Field!
Yankees captain Aaron Judge might have to bear the brunt of the Juan Soto trade’s negative implications. Owing to Soto’s defensive shortcomings, the Bronx Bombers are likely to field him in the right field for most of the 2024 season. Moreover, Alex Verdugo is seen as the team’s ideal left fielder. That leaves Judge in center field. Of course, the captain is familiar with that spot. He fielded 78 games in center during his MVP season in 2022. However, tables turned in 2023 when the slugger suffered from a gruesome toe injury that saw him sidelined for six weeks. It goes without saying that the Yanks cannot afford to risk Judge’s health. So what’s the solution?
For instance, let Aaron Judge field in center field occasionally. If needed, move Juan Soto to DH and use Grisham in the center to accommodate Judge in the right. Additionally, the captain is required to adjust his position until the first half of the season. It’s because Jasson Dominguez is expected to return from a UCL tear injury by July 2024. Thus, Aaron Boone needs to play out every permutation combination to keep Judge less prone to injuries. A repeat of the 2023 season cannot unfold under any circumstance. Ultimately, the upcoming season will provide insights into how the Yankees leverage their defensive assets and how Judge adapts to potential changes in his role. As the team aims for postseason success, finding the optimal defensive alignment will be a crucial aspect of their strategic approach.
Yankees Not To Rush Jasson Dominguez’s Recovery!
New York Yankees top prospect is currently in rehab after undergoing a Tommy John surgery for a ULC tear sustained during the 2023 MLB season. While his timeline slates his return to July 2024, the Bronx Bombers are not keen to rush the kid’s recovery. The 20-year-old remains in good shape, as earlier confirmed by skipper Aaron Boone.
However, before Jasson Dominguez could even think of returning as an everyday outfielder, the Yankees seem likely to evaluate his fitness standards. Rumor has it that Dominguez will be gradually introduced to the major league once he returns. He won’t be placed directly as an everyday center field. The team intends to avert the risk of injury aggravation and will prioritize the kid’s health over outfield dynamics.