Yankees: Q&A with Bryan Hoch, Yankees Beat Writer for MLB.com

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees reacts against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 08, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Do you think that the Yankees would have a similar record to what they have now had all their players been healthy? It seems like they have been winning a lot of very tight games.

I think that it would be hard for the healthy Yankees to have done better than this group has done. And maybe some of it is the soft schedule. You know, I’m talking to you right now from the stands here at Camden Yards, and it feels like we’ve seen an awful lot of the Orioles so far this year already.

Ten games already in the books against them. But they’ve played pretty well across the board ever since April 16 or so they’ve been the best team in baseball. It’s hard to imagine that, even at full strength, they would have done a whole lot better than they are right now. They’re in first place in the American League East and looking to stay there.

Didi Gregorius played in extended spring training games earlier this week. He is obviously a big part of their lineup and culture. But where does he fit in? Lemahieu, Voit, Urshela, and Torres are knocking the cover off the ball. How will they work that out?

I think when Didi comes back he is going to see regular duty at shortstop, but I don’t know if he’s going to play there, say, three days in a row to begin. He’ll get days off, and when he gets a day off, you’re going to move Gleyber back over to short. I think Urshela is your third baseman for the foreseeable future. I don’t see any reason why you’d dislodge him.

Maybe Lemahieu goes back to that kind of super utility role they were talking about early in the year where he fills in at second base, third base. You’re probably not going to see him at short. You might see him at first, I guess, here and there. But I think there will be at-bats, and the way the season has been going, somebody else might get hurt before long.

So, who knows? I think these problems have a way of working themselves out, but at least in the beginning when Didi comes off the injured list, I don’t expect him to play every single day. They’re probably going to be pretty cautious with him and make sure he gets some rest.

So, Lemahieu is the odd-man-out here?

I would think so. I would think that Urshela is going to be your consistent everyday third baseman, especially if he keeps hitting the way he does. It’s hard to take him out of the lineup. I think that Lemahieu signed on for that role. He understood what he was getting into when he came here. I think he’s got more playing time than he expected.

Boone took him out of the game last night just to give him a day off. He has played almost every single day. He’s had to. So, I think that they’re going to try and kind of phase him back a little bit. But Lemahieu will continue playing. I think he’s a big part of the team right now.

Considering that Lemaiehu is their usual leadoff hitter, would Aaron Hicks slide back into that spot?

That’s something that Aaron Boone has talked about. He really does like the idea of Hicks leading off, especially against lefties. I think that as this (season) progresses and Hicks gets more comfortable at the plate, that is certainly something they would entertain.