TAMPA — Luke Voit was scheduled to have surgery to repair his partially torn meniscus in his left knee Monday in New York at Hospital for Special Surgery. That opened up a spot for Jay Bruce, who started at first base again Monday and bobbled what could have been a double-play ball, but has mostly been adequate at the position.
GM Brian Cashman said he’s hoping Bruce plays well enough that they have a tough decision to make when Voit returns, which figures to be in May.
“I hope so,’’ Cashman said. “I want him to light it up so we have more decisions to make.”
As for Mike Tauchman, Cashman said the outfielder “was never leaving unless I found a deal that made sense for him to leave.”
The GM said he got plenty of calls on Tauchman and is confident he is poised to bounce back after a rough 2020.
Aroldis Chapman has to sit the first two games of the regular season for throwing a pitch near Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau’s head last year and Aaron Boone said there will be no clear-cut closer in his absence.
“It’ll be where we are in the game,’’ Boone said. “Maybe Chad [Green]. Hopefully we’re in a position to close out a game or two. It could be anyone. … We’re gonna start the season with 13 pitchers and eight in the pen. All those guys have to pitch high-leverage situations.”
Domingo German said through an interpreter he “wasn’t expecting to pitch the third game” of the season until he was told he would be.
The right-hander entered camp in a battle with Deivi Garcia for the fifth spot in the rotation, but performed so well, it was clear he’d be one of the team’s five starters early in camp after missing all of last season while serving his 81-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence protocols.
He allowed his first runs of the spring in Monday’s loss to the Tigers, a two-run homer to Akil Baddoo, but struck out four more batters in four innings.
Cashman said the Yankees are “patiently waiting” for their players and staff to become eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Boone said he already has been.
“Whenever they give us the green light, we’ll put a game plan together and stagger people properly,’’ Cashman said. “We know those days are coming sooner than later.”