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Why Yankees’ Aaron Judge is getting work in left field

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will start in left field during Friday’s Spring Training game against the New York Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field, weather permitting.

While the vast majority of the time Judge will be working in center field, the Yankees are making sure he’s getting comfortable at all three outfield positions. They experimented with this during 2023 Spring Training before Giancarlo Stanton got injured to begin the season, which forced Judge to remain in right field.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone mentioned Thursday they want Judge getting reps in left field in the event he has to do it during the regular season.

“Just wanted to do it at least once so that if you got a situation where [Trent] Grisham’s in the game late or Grisham’s starting a game and [Alex Verdugo] is out or something, just want to have that in there,” Boone said.

Judge is coming back from an abdominal injury that kept him off the field for roughly a week and a half, but he returned without missing a beat during Wednesday’s win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The captain notched an RBI double, a walk and two runs scored before being pulled in the fourth inning.

The 2022 AL MVP is going to spend the majority of his time manning center field, but it’s a wise decision to get him reps in left field, especially with two-time gold glover Trent Grisham now working as the fourth outfielder.

As Judge enters his age-32 season, keeping him away from some of the wear and tear that comes with playing center field every day is a prudent move.

Judge is expected to play in three more Spring Training games, and barring a setback, before the Bombers travel to open the 2024 season against the Houston Astros next week.

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