Manager Boone fights back over Game 1 lineup, vows to support ‘kids’

aaron boone of the yankees
John Allen
Wednesday September 7, 2022

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NEW YORK — Amid criticism over fielding a Yankees team of mostly backup talents during the first game on Wednesday against the Twins, manager Aaron Boone is out to defend his selection of backup kids. He also vows to allow more opportunities to the bench players.

The lineup card that the Yankees manager selected for Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader looks like it was created for a road game during spring training that included a lengthy bus ride.

Other than Aaron Judge at designated hitter, Gleyber Torres at second base, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa moving from shortstop to third, the Yankees’ lineup was mostly made up of backups and recently called-up players from Triple-A. This was because the Yankees had a lot of injuries and Josh Donaldson went on paternity leave after rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night.

Ronald Guzman was hitting cleanup for his first game of the season just above Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In the lineup with him were four position players who had just come up from the minors: Miguel Andujar in left field, Oswald Peraza at shortstop, Oswaldo Cabrera in right field, and Estevan Florial in center field.

Also, Boone had Domingo German caught by backup receiver Kyle Higashioka for the first game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins, which had to happen because of the rain on Tuesday night.

Boone moved Kiner-Falefa to third base for the first time this season because he was so desperate. In 2020, IFK won a Gold Glove at third base for the Texas Rangers.

“Who thought we’d be in this position a couple days ago?,” Boone said. “Anything’s on the table certainly.”

With Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Benintendi on the injured list and DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton out for Game 1 and uncertain for Game 2, this is what the Yankees had to play with in a September pennant-race game.

“Yeah there are kids, but capable guys” Boone argued. “We were in these types of situations I felt like a lot in 2019 and these are guys that are talented players that have a chance to come up and do something important to help us win these important games. So I’m excited for the opportunity for all of them.”

Boone feels the same way about pitcher Deivi Garcia, who was called up on Wednesday after having pitched at Triple-A and Double-A with an ERA of 7.27 this season.

What’s up with Garcia? Boone said, “It’s as simple as the fact that he’s on the (40-man) roster.”

That’s trying too hard.

Boone said, “He’s actually thrown the ball really well the last couple of times and the last time he was in Triple-A; so he gives us coverage (for a long time).”

Garcia replaced Donaldson on the Yankees‘ roster, and Andujar was called up as an extra player for the doubleheader.

“Having Miggy as our 29th man gives us a lot of coverage for position players,” Boone is quoted saying.

Was Aaron Boone right in choosing mostly a backup team?

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