Could This Be the New York Yankees Opening Day Line-up?
When Opening Day will take place, may be a bigger question than even the New York Yankees questionable Opening Day line-up. Let's have some fun and give general manager Brian Cashman a little help, while providing manager Aaron Boone with a winning line-up. Remember, we have to be realistic with our wish-list additions!
Leading off, we have to go with switch hitting centerfielder, Aaron Hicks. The Yankees signed Hicks through 2025. The centerfielder missed most of last year and has been recovering from left wrist surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath, performed in May. Prior to getting hurt, Hicks was having a dismal year at the plate. Boone needs his centerfielder to get his swing back to win.
Batting second for the Bombers will a familiar face, the right fielder, Aaron Judge. Number 99 belted 39 home runs and drove in 98. If Yankees fans have their way, Aaron Judge will occupy this slot for many years to come.
In the 3 hole for New York will be first baseman, no not Anthony Rizzo or Matt Olsen, it's will be DJ Lemahieu. DJ is a lifetime .300 hitter and solid defensive player. Right now, it doesn't seem like the Yankees are going to go deep into their pockets to finance this position. Lemahieu fills the 3rd spot in the batting order nicely. Unless Cashman moves Luke Voit, he will be a more than solid back-up.
The Yankees clean-up hitter in 2022 is Giancarlo Stanton. Let's just say he is the Designated Hitter for this version of the 2022 line up. Stanton had a solid 2021 campaign, hitting .273 with 35 homers and 95 runs batted in. He should be in left field for at least a third of the games but that will depend on the Yankees other outfielder and he's next!
Let's start the season with left fielder Joey Gallo in the 5th spot. Gallo is going to have to hit for better average in 2022 or he will be an expensive bench player. Boone isn't going to have the patience that he had in 2021. Gallo hit a paltry .199 last year. He did hit 38 home runs but only drove in 77. That is not a good ratio. Gallo is a solid defensive outfielder and should compliment the already gifted duo of Hicks and Judge that hang out in front of Monument Park.
In the 6th spot in Aaron Boone's Opening Day line-up will be a new New York Yankee, Trevor Story. The 29 year old free-agent shortstop won't make Brian Cashman break the bank, maybe 4 years for $100 million to solidify that position for a few years. Story may not hit 24 home runs away from Colorado but he will hit. He is a tremendous athlete and would fill that position nicely for the Pinstripes.
The 7th hitter could move up, if he finally reaches his potential. Gleyber Torres will be anchored at 2nd base with nothing else to think about. He did not have a great year at the plate, hitting .259 with nine homers and driving in 51. However, Torres has a huge upside. He just turned 25 and is loaded with athletic ability. This is the year he breaks out.
Batting 8th on Opening Day should have been a trade that Brian Cashman needed to make for catcher Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates but the Miami Marlins beat him to it. So, Cashman needs to trade with the Rockies for Elias Diaz to backup his commitment to Gary Sanchez. Diaz is a journeyman that had a breakout season in 2021 at the plate. Best of all, he's solid behind the plate, throwing out 46% of potential base stealers last season.
Batting 9th and anchoring the Bronx Bombers line-up will be 3rd baseman, not shortstop, Gio Urshela. Knowing that he is playing every day at 3rd base, Urshela could go back to his 2019 numbers belting 21 home runs and driving in 74. There is a lot of potential in the 9 hole in this line-up. Ushela may be a big factor in the Yankees success in 2022. I could also see Joey Gallo in this spot if he struggles.
We'll get to the Yankees pitching staff after the holidays. I hope all of you have a very Happy and Safe Holiday Season with your families. Those of you celebrating Christmas on Saturday, a very Merry Christmas to you all and I hope Santa Claus is good to you. I am expecting coal not Cole! Enjoy.