Friends, the last day of Spring Training has come and gone. It’s time for the Yanks to travel back to New York for Opening Day, where they’ll take on the Toronto Blue Jays this Thursday. Just because today was the last day of spring, however, does not mean that it was uneventful. Far from it, in fact.
More on that in a second. First, the Yanks played a game today and they lost it to Detroit 5-2. They finished the Grapefruit League season 14-12, if you’re one of the 5 people in the universe who cares about that. Next time they play, the game will count. I can’t wait for that. On to the final news and notes of the Grapefruit League season after the jump.
The Big Story: Aaron Judge’s Non-Injury
Look, this isn’t actually the biggest story of the day. That’s almost certainly the fact that Brian Cashman addressed the media today and gave a whole host of updates. But, of course, that’s not how the world works: the biggest story of the day is what we, as fans, choose it to be. Today, it was very obviously the hilarious Aaron Judge speculation saga. Let’s walk through it.
First, at about 9:30 am ET, the Yankees announced the final lineup of the Grapefruit League season. Ho-hum, right? Wrong. As our friends at River Ave Blues noted, the lineup did not include Aaron Judge, nor did the previous two:
Cue meltdown. People got very anxious about this observation, which quickly became A Thing. Beat writers were ON IT, telling us that they didn’t know either. Speculation abound: would Judge miss the first month, or the whole season? When did he get hurt? Was it during the monster home run he hit on Thursday night? And on and on.
Did it matter that, literally two days ago, Aaron Judge said publicly that he was “ready to go?”Reader, it did not. Did it matter that, literally today, Aaron Judge took batting practice with the New York Yankees? Reader, again, it did not.
Things got weirder when Aaron Boone missed his scheduled Zoom time of 11:30, leaving everyone to speculate even more. Then, when the team announced that Brian Cashman would address the media instead, things really took off. People were in full-on panic mode, jumping to conclusions despite some good advice to not do that. This personally was my favorite tweet of the whole ordeal, which summed up the entire spectrum:
Turns out, in fact, that there was an in-between. Aaron Judge had a cold and was locked away in the COVID-19 protocols, Boone said later on the YES Network.
Cashman was speaking not to tell us that Aaron Judge had passed into the Great Beyond but to do a usual news roundup before the season got into full swing. Pretty hilarious, honestly. Now let’s hope Judge goes 4-4 with 4 HR and 16 RBI on Friday. Why the hell not? We’ve earned it.
Alright, so that’s out of the way now. Here is the rest of the news from today’s day in Yankee camp. There was, unexpectedly, quite a bit of it, even leaving aside the game. (I am not mentioning much about the game because it was the last one. I do not care about it at all.) Here goes nothing:
- Injury News Roundup: As we could have guessed, Brian Cashman gave a pretty thorough news roundup this afternoon. Nothing super new, really, but good info to have:
- Luke Voit had surgery today to repair his partially torn meniscus. Right on schedule.
- Justin Wilson will begin the season on the Injured List, as we all could have guessed. His injury is not serious, but the shutdown obviously means that he is not in MLB shape at the moment.
- Zack Britton should be back in late May or June, which is also right where we expected.
- Roster News: Also unexpectedly, a whole bunch of roster news.
- We have all but the 26th man for the Yankees Opening Day roster. Cashman said that both Tyler Wade and Mike King will make the roster, with the only open question as to who will take Justin Wilson’s spot. (Nick Nelson will also make the team.) There is almost no doubt that the final slot will go to Lucas Luetge, but ~time will tell.~
- Robinson Chirinos and Derek Dietrich will remain with the Yankees at the Alternate Site. Chirinos provides much-needed catcher depth once he is fully healthy, while Dietrich provides positional versatility. I’m a bit surprised to see Dietrich still around, myself, but hey. I’m not complaining.
- Brian Cashman’s “I received many phone calls inquiring about a trade for Mike Tauchman” tee shirt is raising a lot of questions already answered by his shirt. He said he was not eager to move the 30-year-old lefty, who has a lot of “pop.”
- Finally, the Yanks released Jhoulys Chacin.
- Deivi García won the James P. Dawson Award, which is given to the most impressive rookie of Spring Training. That’s neat!
Next up, Opening Day. The Yankees are “hungry” and frankly so am I. It has been too damn long since the Yanks won a World Series. We’ll have you covered until Opening Day, of course. Until tomorrow. Have a great night, everyone.