Aaron Boone's outfield plan for Yankees has fans asking a lot of questions

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Even though New York Yankees fans had a pretty good idea what the outfield alignment might look like to kick off 2024, there are still questions to ask in the aftermath of manager Aaron Boone's comments on Tuesday.

The Yankees' spring training game vs the Mets was broadcast on ESPN and Boone answered some questions on live television ... in addition to watching Ben Rortvedt's brain fart and reacting to it.

One of the topics broached was the Yankees' outfield situation. With Jasson Dominguez out until the summer, the Yanks don't have a true starting center fielder (and even when Dominguez returns, he will be rehabbing for a decent while before getting back to the big-league roster).

So, as expected, Aaron Judge will roam those pastures to start the year. But fans have expressed concerns about that, because the slugger mentioned not too long ago that his big toe -- which suffered an injury last season in a collision with the Dodger Stadium concrete wall -- will require maintenance for the rest of his career.

Though Judge is actually a great center fielder, is putting more stress on his lower body a wise choice? Do the Yankees have a choice, though?

Aaron Boone's outfield plan for Yankees has fans asking a lot of questions

In the end, it kind of doesn't matter, because Judge will be playing both sides of the ball until he physically can't. He signed a $360 million contract because he's one of the best in the league with his bat and glove. Whether it's center field or right field, there's always going to be risk with his toe, and a few extra steps here and there covering center field probably won't be a death knell.

Same goes for Stanton. We'll believe it when we see it. Don't expect him to be a regular in the outfield rotation. If you had any questions about what Boone meant when he said "periodically," it means Stanton will take the field when he's able and as the Yankees see fit with the outfield dimensions.

Many are wondering, however, why Alex Verdugo will be in left field and Juan Soto will be in right. Soto has played most of his career games in left (454 vs 301 in right), while Verdugo is coming off a career defensive year where he dominated Fenway Park's difficult right field dimensions. Not only was that the first time he looked truly comfortable on the defensive end, but he's also played more career games in right (291) than left (251).

Is it because left field at Yankee Stadium is more cavernous than right field? Verdugo can cover more ground than Soto, who's not exactly a Gold Glover and who might benefit from the shallow short porch. But it's hard to ignore Verdugo's 2023 defensive showing while also knowing Soto has a better track record in left.

We can only hope this is player preference and not the Yankees trying to get too fancy, because their defense can't take many more knocks.