Sports

Yankees’ Aaron Judge is relishing his opportunity playing at center field

TORONTO — The first time the Yankees’ Aaron Judge performed center field as a giant leaguer was at Rogers Centre. It was a one-off early in 2018 earlier than he returned to roaming proper field for the remainder of the season.

Four years later, Judge was again north of the border Friday night time because the Yankees’ de facto beginning center fielder, and he was relishing the opportunity.

“I’ve always felt like I’m the center fielder,” Judge stated earlier than the Yankees opened a three-game collection in opposition to the Blue Jays. “Even when they keep putting me in right field, I always treat everything like I’m the center fielder. But it’s good. Honestly, whatever the team needs. If this gives us the best lineup and gets the guys that we need out there every single day — I’ll play left field, I’ll play wherever they need me. It’s been fun.”

Judge’s begin in center Friday was his eleventh within the final 12 video games and sixteenth within the final 20. Overall, it was his twenty ninth begin in center in comparison with 24 in proper field. There had beforehand been issues about how his 6-foot-7, 282-pound body would maintain up playing center on a constant foundation, however he has to date quelled these worries, saying his physique felt the identical because it had as an on a regular basis proper fielder.

Aaron Judge’s start in center Friday was his 11th in the last 12 games and 16th in the last 20.
Aaron Judge’s begin in center Friday was his eleventh within the final 12 video games and sixteenth within the final 20.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

“No real change in that aspect yet, so we’ll see,” stated Judge, who performed center field at Fresno State. “But it’s still June. We’ll see when we get down in the dog days of the summer in August and end of September. But so far, so good.”

Because of the Rogers Centre’s turf, which will be unforgiving on gamers’ legs, supervisor Aaron Boone stated he anticipated to get Judge a day as DH throughout this collection and doubtlessly a day without work in the course of the subsequent collection at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., which additionally options turf.

“In the midst of a 20 in a row too, so it’s something I’m mindful of,” Boone stated. “But also don’t want to be overly concerned. We’re not playing in a parking lot.”

On Friday, Judge playing center field allowed the Yankees to place Giancarlo Stanton in proper field, that means Josh Donaldson might DH and DJ LeMahieu might play third base. Other days, it has allowed them to play Joey Gallo in proper field, the place he has stated he is extra comfy, with Aaron Hicks shifting to left.

While his bat has been red-hot no matter the place he performs, Judge’s protection in center has been regular. Entering Friday, he had registered zero outs above common, in keeping with Baseball Savant, which was barely higher than Hicks’ minus-one.

While Judge is aware of a lot of the center fields in AL East stadiums, he’ll want additional preparation at instances when the Yankees are on the street.

“I think some of the interleague games we’re going to play, that’s where I’ll have to spend some time out there and see the wall, see how it bounces off the wall, the warning track, the grass, how the ground balls move,” Judge stated. “But it’s part of our job. I like those little things.”

Back to top button