Beardless Odor's debut one to remember

Frazier's job not in jeopardy; Germán to return soon

April 11th, 2021

Upon being informed that he had been acquired by the Yankees, ’s initial reaction was one of excitement -- even as the veteran infielder realized his trademark bushy beard had a date with a razor.

“I feel weird -- even my daughter [Emma] doesn’t want to look at me,” Odor said, with a laugh. “She was walking away from me. But you know what? This is what it is. I’m happy to be here.”

Odor's Yankees debut was one to remember, as he lashed a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning of New York's 8-4 victory over the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field. With the knock, Odor became just the fourth Yankee since 1974 whose first hit with the club was a game-winner in extra innings.

"He's a guy that brings some versatility. He brings some energy," Yanks outfielder said. "He's going to have some great at-bats. Today he was fouling off some tough pitches. He was aggressive, and you need a guy like that."

The 27-year-old was acquired from the Rangers on Tuesday in exchange for Minor League outfielders Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers. Texas will assume nearly all of the remaining $27 million on Odor’s contract over the next two seasons.

“I always believed in myself, I always trust myself,” said Odor, who hit .167 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs in 38 games last season. “I knew somebody was going to pick me up, so I just stayed ready. I didn’t stop practicing.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he envisions Odor playing about twice a week, backing up at second base and at third base. Odor played third base this spring with Texas and said he feels comfortable there.

Odor said he believes his daughter, age 3, will eventually warm up to her daddy’s clean-shaven look -- just as his clutch hit won over his new teammates in rapid fashion.

"I'm just trying to play the game the way that I play the game all the time," Odor said. "It feels really good."

Out of left field
is healthy and continues to be the Yankees’ starting left fielder, according to Boone, though started for a second consecutive game on Sunday. Frazier is 5-for-25 (.200) this season and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Friday’s series opener at Tropicana Field.

“Against Tampa, as much as they do matching up, there’s value to have a little balance in the lineup,” Boone said. “We’ve got a couple of lefties coming up with Toronto, so this was a chance to get Gardy a couple of days in a row. I feel like he’s in a pretty good rhythm, but Frazier will be right back in there and playing regularly.”

Pleading the fifth
The Yankees optioned right-hander to the alternate training site at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after his start on Saturday, but Boone said he anticipates Germán will return to the rotation once his necessary 10 days are up. Right-hander was recalled to supply bullpen depth.

“Truly, nothing has changed about where I view Domingo right now,” Boone said. “I think he’s thrown the ball well. I think he’s going to have a really strong season for us. This was more born out of having a need in the bullpen.”

It remains possible that the Yankees could insert a sixth starter this month. Boone said he considers right-handers and to be “very much in the mix” for that assignment.

Comeback trail
(nerve issue in right hand) has been hitting off a tee and doing soft-toss. He could advance to batting cage work in about a week, according to Boone.

(recovery from left elbow surgery) resumed a throwing program last week and could return to the Majors by the end of May, Boone said. Britton is on the 60-day injured list.

(right elbow strain) has not resumed throwing and plans to seek a second medical opinion on Monday. Schmidt is the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

(recovery from Tommy John surgery) has been throwing fastballs and sliders in his bullpen sessions at the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa, Fla., and he is “doing well,” Boone said.

(recovery from left knee surgery) is rehabbing in New York and is scheduled for a post-operation doctor visit on Monday, Boone said. Voit is not scheduled to resume baseball activities for at least one more week.

He said it
“I think Albert Einstein said it: ‘Not everything that counts can be counted.’” -- , on what Aaron Judge adds to the Yankees’ lineup

This date in Yankees history
April 11, 1912: New York wore pinstripes for the first time, debuting the look for its final home opener at Hilltop Park, a 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. The Yankees abandoned the pinstripes for two years afterward but had them for good by 1915.