Yankees: Neil Walker starts, Tyler Wade sits; what a shame!

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 03: Tyler Wade /

Who is really managing the Yankees? According to Randy Miller & Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com it’s not Aaron Boone

"“The Yankees surprised by releasing their Opening Day lineup against the Blue Jays a day early.”Starting at second base for the Yankees: Neil Walker 2018 spring stats: .222 average, 18 AB, 0 runs, 4 hits, 2 doubles, 0 triples, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 SB, 0 CS, 7 games."

Here’s the lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Aaron Judge
  3. DH Giancarlo Stanton
  4. C Gary Sanchez
  5. CF Aaron Hicks
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Brandon Drury
  8. 2B Neil Walker
  9. 1B Tyler Austin

Sitting on the bench is Tyler Wade. Here are his 2018 spring stats: .286 average, 49 AB, six runs, 14 hits, three doubles, one triple, nine BB, 12 K and three SB in 22 games.

My respect for Aaron Boone came down a full notch, and I am officially “pissed off in advance.” Is Boone really the manager, or is he a puppet on Brian Cashman’s string?

Plain and simple, Wade earned the right to start Opening Day. Walker has not even had a full Spring Training, and his numbers pale in comparison to Wade’s. Why is he not starting? The Yankees will say matchup for sure.

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However, it is left-hander J. A. Happ on the mound for the Jays who Walker last faced in 2012. He went 0-for-2 that day. Six years, folks, is a long time between plate appearances. Walker hit .211 vs. LHP in 2017 for the Mets, hardly a good reference to face a tough left-hander.

So why does Walker indeed get the start? Cashman’s ego might be the answer. He signed Walker to a $4 million salary this year while Wade is making the MLB minimum. Cashman has always been a proponent of playing the people who get paid the most. He did it for a long time with A-Rod until they finally pulled the plug in 2016.

I also firmly believed this spring that if Ellsbury were healthy, he would get the start in center. I’m a little skeptical about Jacoby’s stint on the DL. I’m not saying he is faking; I am just saying that for now, the Yankees might prefer him on the DL.

Next: Predictions for the 2018 season

Although it bothers me about Wade not getting his due, I am far more concerned about who is the real manager of the Yankees.

If Aaron Boone is not strong enough to stand his ground and Cashman is the real manager, I believe there will be a lot of disappointed Yankee fans come October.