MLB and the players association are discussing an agreement to close the alternate sites for all 30 clubs and set up a pre-postseason bubble that would house players and staff members in a hotel starting Monday.
If agreed upon, players on the 40-man roster and the injured list would join the big-league club whose rosters will remain at 28.
For the Yankees, that would mean they would have to clear out their houses and apartments before leaving late Thursday night on a two-city, seven-game trip to Boston and Buffalo to play the Red Sox (three games) and Blue Jays (four). They finish the truncated season at home against the Marlins Sept. 25-27.
With big-league rosters at 28, the 12 members not on the active roster could eventually be needed at the major league level, will likely travel and be instructed to follow MLB’s COVID-19 protocols.
Aaron Judge reported to the alternate site on Monday to join Giancarlo Stanton in simulated games.
That Judge went to Scranton meant he came through Sunday’s workout at Yankee Stadium OK. Judge tested his right calf by taking batting practice, running the bases, fielding fly balls and ground balls in right and participating in agility drills.
Aaron Boone hasn’t said exactly when Stanton (left hamstring) and Judge would come off the IL, but it could be soon.
Stanton hasn’t played since Aug. 8 and Judge has played in one game since Aug. 12.
If healthy the duo would add power to the right field and DH spots and deepen a lineup that has been using Luke Voit in Judge’s No. 2 spot and Clint Frazier in Stanton’s cleanup spot.
Boone said Sunday that Frazier “is very much in the mix’’ when asked about Judge’s anticipated return from the IL.
Frazier could shift from right to left and play there regularly if he continues to hit like he has in the past 11 games. Frazier hit .289 (11-for-38) with a homer, seven RBIs and posted a .825 OPS in that stretch.
Considering Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman have struggled recently, Boone could play Frazier against lefties and righties. Gardner is hitting .183 (19-for-104) in 40 games this season and Tauchman is in a 7-for-45 (.156) slide in the past 19 games (15 starts) with a .459 OPS. On Aug. 16 Tauchman was hitting .357.
Stanton and Judge returning could impact Miguel Andujar more than Frazier. And third baseman Gio Urshela’s expected return from the IL on Tuesday will have an effect on Andujar, who has started to hit.
Since being recalled from the alternate site on Aug. 4, Andujar has started twice at third, though not since Aug. 6, twice in left field and four games at DH.
In nine games (eight starts) Andujar hit .355 (11-for-31) with a homer, five RBIs and a .975 OPS. That is quite a difference from the .129 (4-for-31) and .285 OPS from July 26 to Aug. 28 when he played in 12 games (10) starts.
Aroldis Chapman’s appeal hearing of his three-game suspension was scheduled for Monday, but no decision was announced.
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