Why was Yankees captain Aaron Judge spotted working out at surprise position?
We know Aaron Judge would do anything for the New York Yankees -- after all, he signed up for nine more years of being the face of the franchise. But this? So soon?
Eventually, there's a chance that the Yankees will need to reevaluate Judge's best position. After all, baseball players of his size remain uncommon. 6-6 freak athlete Dave Winfield stayed healthy, mashing and in right field through the age of 36, but then missed a season (and continued playing right primarily for two more years, to his credit). Giancarlo Stanton? Yankee fans know, at this point, that he's mainly a DH. Whenever he's tested in the field, it usually doesn't go so great (or last so long).
That's why "Aaron Judge to first base" doesn't sound like a completely foreign concept; some have theorized that might be his eventual landing spot once he crosses the rubicon and turns 37.
But now? Now, Judge is claiming he's still down to play a good deal of center field, even as Harrison Bader plans for his first full season in the Bronx. He's as spry as he'll ever be again. He's 30. He clearly worked on being careful and preserving his body as much as possible last year, with fewer headlong dives.
So why did he work out and take grounders at first base at spring training on Tuesday? Just so that we'd write about it? Probably.
Yankees letting Aaron Judge take grounders at first ... to help IKF?
Relax. Judge isn't moving to first anytime soon -- at least not if his pal Anthony Rizzo and Rizzo's dachshund have anything to say about it.
Odds are, he was just being helpful, as one of the first Yankees position players who's reported to camp this year. Someone had to catch Isiah Kiner-Falefa's throws, who was spotted at the early workout, too. Seeing as this will probably become a part of Judge's bag of tricks eventually, he might as well start getting comfortable now.
Of course ... worst-case scenario ... it would be pretty silly for the Yankees to expose him to the possibility of an errant throw or bad hop at an unfamiliar position, entering this all-important season!
At least he's got financial security now. But ... still. Maybe chill on this until 2026, when Munetaka Murakami has to get his reps in, too.