NEW YORK (WFAN) — The lineup. The lineup. The lineup. It’s all the rage these days when it comes to the Yankees.
Who will bat where in the order? Where will the home runs threats be slotted? How will the kids fit in?
The man who will eventually answer those questions and make the decisions is Aaron Boone. The Yankees’ new manager called in to WFAN on Wednesday morning and talked about the state of the team with guest host John Sterling.
Boone admitted he has been tinkering with the batting order in his mind, a fun chore considering the Yankees now sport sluggers Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez, in addition to a handful of others who can really mash the baseball.
“We’re hoping to see Greg Bird take another giant leap this year and be one of those guys that really makes a pitcher work,” Boone said. “We saw what Didi (Gregorius) did last year. Obviously, Gary Sanchez. When an opposing pitcher looks at our lineup and thinks about having to work through it, it’s a team that you better make pitches against. Otherwise, this is a team that not only will make you pay with a base hit, but it will also make you pay with some damage.”
As for the situation at second base and third base, positions where the Yankees could turn to rookies, Boone said he’s leaving all of his options open.
“Ronald Torreyes showed us last year how valuable he is as that utility infielder, so there is certainly confidence that he can play a number of positions if we need him to,” Boone said. “There’s a number of guys knocking on the door at the big league level that we feel will be big league players that can fill in there. Obviously, Gleyber Torres is going to factor in at some point at one of those positions. (Miguel) Andujar is on the come, so we have a lot of guys that are knocking on that door.”
Boone also discussed the Yankees’ quest for a sixth starting pitcher. Various reports have linked them to trades involving Gerrit Cole, and others. Boone’s team could also be a factor in free agency, given the power arms still available and the fact that New York’s payroll is well below the $197 million luxury tax threshold next season.
“Well, I think it just depends on (getting the right) matchup and if it is something that will ultimately make sense for us as an organization not only in the short term, but also in the long term,” Boone said of adding another starter. “I know it’s something (GM Brian Cashman) is actively looking into, pursuing, kicking tires, having conversations with other teams. We don’t feel like we’re in a situation where we are desperate to go out and have to get something, but it is definitely something we would like to add.”
To hear Boone’s complete interview, please click on the audio player above.