KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t have hot-hitting Aaron Judge on the lineup because he expected to play all three games in Toronto this week.
“It’s hard to keep him out,” Boone said of Judge, who has homed five in his previous seven games and won them all.
Boone has also said repeatedly that he does not anticipate players being unable to play in Canada due to COVID-19 regulations.
The Yankees, who defeated the Royals 3-0 on Saturday night, will also join the growing list of teams who will make the two-hour bus ride from Toronto to Buffalo to avoid having to test negative for COVID-19 to cross the border by plane.
The Red Sox and Astros are among other teams who have similar travel plans from Toronto and are wary of losing players via a positive test.
The Yankees’ 13-game clean streak was cut short when Isiah Kiner-Falefa failed to handle Salvador Perez’s sharp grounder to open the end of the season.
The track had rivaled the second longest streak in franchise history, set in 2012. The team record is an 18-game clean run in 2009.
“That’s a priority,” Boone said before the team defense game. “We’ve been good so far, but it’s April.”
Gleyber Torres’ improved performance at the plate continued with two more hits and an RBI. Including his tricky game-winning hit on April 21, Torres is 9-for-24 with three extra base hits and seven RBIs.
“He’s a big part of it [winning streak]’ Boone said.
The Yankees have some decisions to make before taking on the Blue Jays on Monday as the MLB roster has to be cut by two players to 26.
Reliever Clarke Schmidt could be a candidate for relegation as he still has minor league options and hasn’t played much lately.
Boone said ahead of Saturday’s game he believes there’s still a role for Schmidt even if his right-hander Michael King is able to deliver length from the bullpen.
Boone said “possibly” when asked if there was room for both of them.
“We’ll see where we are after Sunday night and what our needs are,” he said.
Schmidt had a promising start to the season, allowing just one deserved run 7 ¹/₃ innings, but he started the year with just three games on Saturday, most recently on April 19, when he threw in 3 ¹/₃ shutout innings to relieve Gerrit Cole in Detroit.
26-year-old Schmidt might be better off pitching more regularly at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, at least for now. He could also be set up there as a starter should the Yankees need help in that department, but there are some scouts who believe Schmidt’s pitch mix makes him well-suited for the role he’s in now.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/01/yankees-aaron-boone-on-his-decision-to-sit-aaron-judge/ The Yankees’ Aaron Boone on his decision to become Aaron Judge