One thing is certain: Right fielder Aaron Judge is expected to be on the Opening Day roster, even though he did not appear in New York's final two Spring Training games. As it turns out, Judge is simply under the weather and following MLB protocols. According to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Judge is going to be just fine; it turns out the pollen in Tampa got the best of him.
“Judge is going through the normal ... [COVID-19] environment,” Cashman said during a Zoom call with reporters on Monday. “Any little issue that is conveyed, you kind of react [as if it is an emergency]. We just sent him through the protocols and thankfully, we eliminated all the stuff other than the fact that every now and then, you could come up with not feeling really well. But he is fine.”
With those moves, the Yankees’ Major League roster is almost set, according to Cashman. The team has to figure out who will replace left-hander Justin Wilson, who will start the season on the injured list with left shoulder tightness. The announcement will be made official prior to Thursday's Opening Day against the Blue Jays.
The good news is, Wilson is getting better. The left-hander threw a bullpen session before Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Tigers in Tampa, Fla. Cashman said Wilson threw the ball without any problems.
“Physically, he feels like he can go, and he doesn’t want to be on the IL,” Cashman said. “We want to make sure he checks in all the throwing boxes along the way, which include several bullpen sessions and a couple of live sessions prior to getting all clear. He is certainly going in the right direction. He has a few more hurdles to clear to feel comfortable [before we release] him back into the wild.”
With Wilson out to start the season, left-hander Lucas Luetge has a good chance to be on the roster. Luetge was powerful on the mound this spring, sporting a 1.74 ERA and striking out 18 in 10 1/3 innings.