Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner would be the most affected by the new configuration of the Yankees' roster. But manager Aaron Boone believes that Gardner, who is the New York player who has been with the team the longest, will continue to see action at times of great need.
"He's going to play a lot and I think we'll see that eventually," Boone said Wednesday before the last game of the New York series against the Rays. "I think he will play more often than is speculated, but it will be a constant conversation and we know he will continue to play an important role for us."
Gardner started and played 62 of the Yankees' first 72 games, including 42 in center field during the absence of Aaron Hicks, who missed the first eight weeks of the season due to injury.
After the acquisition of Dominican 1B / BD Edwin Encarnación this week, general manager Brian Cashman said he anticipates that the club's main outfielders will be Giancarlo Stanton in the left forest, Hicks in the center and Aaron Judge in the right. Judge is expected to be activated on Friday of his rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues.
"We're going through a stretch where we're dealing with too many lefties that might take a little time," Boone said of Gardner. "But when Aaron gets here, Giancarlo and even Hicks to some extent, they're all players who will need free days once, twice a week, whatever it is."
After the acquisition of Encarnación, Gardner said he was not worried about how the acquisition would affect him.
"We have a lot of talented guys in the clubhouse and a lot of talented guys came back, which will make our team stronger," Gardner said.
"You never know what can happen. Nobody expected me to play as a center fielder in 40 of the first 45 games this season. You never know. You have to be ready. "
Bryan Hoch MLB.com