The Yankees have somehow run out of outfielders

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Billy McKinney
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Billy McKinney /

Remember debating in the offseason about how Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury were going to fit in the Yankees outfield rotation of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner? That was a nice problem to have.

Then Frazier went down with a prolonged concussion and Ellsbury, without missing a beat, strained his oblique. All of this happened before Opening Day, and sure enough, Hicks was placed on the DL the day after the first game of the season with an intercostal muscle strain. No worries, just a short stint from Billy McKinney and Hicks will be right back in action.

Well, McKinney went down in Saturday’s game as well, and now the only outfielders left on the Yankees 40-man roster are Stanton, Judge, and Gardner. Tyler Wade, who has seldom outfield experience, is now in the rotation until at least Thursday (Ellsbury’s return from the DL), according to Aaron Boone.

I never thought that I’d be writing about how scarce the 2018 New York Yankees outfield is. Especially after only the third game of the season. Just unfortunate events and bad luck for the Yanks.

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However, there is no need to panic at all. Ellsbury is set to come off the DL (hopefully) in the latter part of next week. He may not be the ideal player, but he is a veteran outfielder. As for Hicks, he should not be far behind Ells. There is no timetable set for McKinney, but unfortunately for him, he likely won’t be needed in the majors once Hicks and Ellsbury are back.

In Frazier’s case, he could be back in a couple weeks or a couple months. His injury is pretty serious, so the Yankees will give him all the time he needs to recover. It is really a day-to-day thing and how he feels.

The outfield situation is not ideal right now, but it could be worse. It would be much more devastating to have Judge and Stanton suffer injuries. This is where versatility and organizational depth come in for a team.

The Yanks are fortunate enough to have a loaded farm system and overall depth in general, especially in the outfield department. Any other team that had four of its seven outfielders on the DL could not handle it. The Yankees can because Brian Cashman made the right decisions in the offseason.

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Sure, the next several days may not be the best baseball the Yanks play all year, but it’s better to have this problem happen early in the season rather than later.