No Yankees spring games yet for Stanton, LeMahieu, Rizzo

Stanton, LeMahieu, Rizzo of the New York Yankees

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TAMPA, FL. — Aaron Judge, Harrison Bader, and Gleyber Torres already had their first taste of the New York Yankees’ spring training games. So are Aaron Hicks, IKF, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Trevino. While the Yankees have allowed their most top-order hitters to join training games, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton are yet to board the bus.

The three were not on the roster either at Tampa or Dunedin. The same thing happened at Steinbrenner Field on Monday night when the Yankees played the Tigers. The trio may not be traveling to Orlando on Tuesday to play against the Rays.

At the start of spring training, the Yankees look like are extra careful with three regulars, who are in their 30s and have had a lot of injuries over the last few seasons. All three are expected to play for the Yankees on Wednesday when they play the Nationals in Tampa.

“There’s a slow play from my standpoint with a number of these guys because we have a normal spring training again and the on-ramp is bigger,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Last year, there were only three weeks of spring training because the MLB went on strike in March. Rizzo only played 130 games, LeMahieu only 125, and Stanton only 110. It’s not clear if this was because of health problems or any other reason.

Rizzo had back pain that kept coming back. Stanton missed time with a strained calf and Achilles tendinitis. LeMahieu’s second half was ruined by a broken toe, which kept him off the Yankees’ postseason roster.

The Yankees are extra careful with LeMahieu because his toe didn’t heal until he got a lot of rest and rehab over the offseason.

The Yankees plan to give LeMahieu starts at third base, second base, and first base, just like they did in the past. On Wednesday, he will play at second base.

“He should be pretty full go,” Boone said. “I eyeballed that March 1 (spring debut). It gives him plenty of time to build up properly hopefully you’re getting him in that position in the third week of March where you’re into back-to-backs, playing more volume. even to where you get to that final few days and you need to back off if you build that volume up.”

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