The latest on the Yankees:
- New York’s second base battle is likely down to Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade and Danny Espinosa, as Jace Peterson and Ronald Torreyes haven’t gotten enough reps this spring to realistically end up with the job, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com posits. Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated he could wait until the end of spring to name a starter. The 23-year-old Wade dealt with an injury scare to his left wrist Saturday, but it seems he avoided any serious issues, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com relays.
- Concussed young outfielder Clint Frazier isn’t recovering as quickly as hoped (via Hoch). Frazier, who suffered the injury Feb. 24, revealed Saturday the concussion is “affecting my driving,” and he’s even “calling my cats the wrong names at times. But they look the same, so it’s hard.” Added Frazier, 23, “I’m not reacting as quickly to things.” But Frazier’s statements came after some light baseball activities, when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman “said symptoms are particularly heightened,” Marc Carig of The Athletic writes (subscription required). “It probably puts him at a disadvantage, to be honest,” Cashman contended.
- While Frazier looked like a long shot to earn a spot on the outfielder-loaded Yankees even before his injury, that’s not the case for center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who will make the team if healthy. But Ellsbury isn’t a certainty for Opening Day because of a right oblique injury, according to Cashman (via Hoch). Injury troubles aren’t anything new for Ellsbury, who sat out a combined 115 games during a disappointing first three years with the Yankees (including 50 in 2017). When healthy, Ellsbury is likely the Yankees’ No. 5 outfielder, behind Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. That’s despite having upward of $68MM left on his contract.
- No real surprise, but the Yankees are opening the season with left-hander Jordan Montgomery as their fifth starter, Boone announced Friday (per George A. King III of the New York Post). As was the case last year, Montgomery will slot in after Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and C.C. Sabathia. That means right-hander Chad Green, whom the Yankees were considering for a starting role, will continue as a reliever. Green was utterly dominant out of the bullpen in 2017, when he recorded a 1.83 ERA with 13.43 K/9 and 2.22 BB/9 over 69 innings. Montgomery wasn’t nearly that effective, but he was quite respectable as a rookie nonetheless, with a 3.88 ERA and 8.34 K/9 against 2.95 BB/9 across 155 1/3 frames.