Yankees open season looking to future arrivals

Judge has been pushed by Aaron Hicks for the job in right.

NY made just three additions during the off-season that appeared to be significant: signing closer Aroldis Chapman as a free agent after trading him last July and adding right-handed hitters Matt Holliday and Chris Carter.

Sanchez in the two-hole was something Girardi toyed around with when both Ellsbury and Gardner didn't play in exhibition games, and it looks to be a permanent fixture for the beginning of the season.

Despite the insane spring training, the Yankees still hold outfield prospect Clint Frazier in high value, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

Girardi said it's likely that Ronald Torreyes will start at short in place of Didi Gregorius, who will begin the season on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.

Gardner is the longest-tenured Yankees player. "That's probably as hard a ball as I've seen hit here this spring, " Girardi said. After striking out in half of his 84 Major League at-bats past year, Judge has improved his contact rate, tallying 13 whiffs in 58 spring at-bats. No longer a rookie, Sanchez will have to show he can bounce back from pitchers' adjustments. Castillo was 4-for-24 (.167) with one RBI in 17 games this spring, while Tejada was 10-for-25 (.286) with one home run and five RBI in 24 games.

Girardi has yet to announce who will win the final two spots in the rotation.

Judge struggled mightily with the Yankees last season when he was called up.

NY opens the regular season Sunday at Tampa Bay. Set-up men will include the losers of the rotation competition plus right-hander Tyler Clippard and left-hander Tommy Layne.

  • Leroy Wright