SPANISH HARLEM – Due to the rain forecast, the New York Yankees will not be playing their first game with the rest of Major League Baseball. While that sucks, at least there won’t be a break in their series with the Boston Red Sox. As we head into the season, I thought about THREE THINGS to Watch on New York Yankees Opening Day.
Who Starts at 2nd Base
DJ LeMahieu is a fan favorite and it will be surprising if he is not in the starting lineup when you consider he is the team’s defacto lead off hitter. It’s only one game but you would think Aaron Boone would want to field the best possible squad. How do you do that without DJ? Gleyber Torres has looked like a different player since being moved back to 2nd and if he can turn back into the hitter he was two years ago, then you have one of the best hitting 2nd basemen in the league. It’s a good problem to have (Boone’s words not mine) but you have to think, at least early on, there will some controversy from the media or fans, if either one starts the season in a slump.
Cole is the ace of the staff but the one thing he has not been able to do with consistency is beat the hated Boston Red Sox. Fans will want to see a dominant performance to start the season and nothing feels better than beating Boston, so all eyes will be on GC to see what pitcher they get on Friday. If he can start off on the right foot, then it could be the beginning of a beautiful year for the Yankees’ number 1 guy.
Nothing new here. No contract by Friday means questions throughout the season of what could happen if Judge gets the opportunity to see free agency. My hope is that a deal is in place – for say 4 years at 150 Million. While that might seem a bit low for someone with the stature of A-J, it’s close to 40 million a year for a player that remains an injury risk. I could see a couple more years with team options but it’s hard to get into a long-term deal with a player that might find it harder to stay on the field as he ages. A deal to start the season could alleviate some concerns for everybody involved but the thing to watch will be seeing how Judge reacts in his first couple of games if not deal gets done.
That’s it for now, come back tomorrow for Different Matt.
Until next time…