Derek Dietrich scratched from lineup, Jay Bruce away from camp as Yankees continue to weigh roster decisions

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Kristie Ackert, New York Daily News
·3 min read
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TAMPA — Friday, the Yankees continued to consider their roster decisions. Derek Dietrich, who also has an opt-out, was initially in the lineup but scratched. Jay Bruce continued to stay away from camp as the Yankees have until Saturday to add him to the roster, otherwise he becomes a free agent.

“Nothing’s been decided yet still kind of working through that. As the clock ticks,” Aaron Boone said before Friday night’s Grapefruit League game against the Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Bruce had an opt-out in his minor league contract of March 25. The Yankees had 48 hours to respond. The Yankees manager said Friday that veteran starter Jhoulys Chacin also had an opt-out and the Yankees were making decisions about his future too.

“We’re kinda in that window right now and are figuring that out, but nothing has been decided,” Boone said.

The Yankees have been talking to teams about trades, mostly including Mike Tauchman who would likely be out of a spot if Bruce is added to the roster. The Yankees, with Zack Britton out for a few months and Justin Wilson unlikely to be ready before the season starts, could use a veteran reliever.

LET’S GO!!!

The long-time baseball adage goes that spring training is for pitchers. The length of the camp is based on how long it takes for pitchers to get their arms in shape, regain their command and build up their workload until they can get through about 75 pitches in a game.

For hitters, it’s too long.

Count DJ LeMahieu in that group.

“Last year we had three weeks, two to three weeks (before the restart of the coronavirus pandemic-shortened season) I thought everyone was pretty ready,” LeMahieu said. “But, I enjoy getting to spring training early, and I don’t think that would really change a whole lot. The amount of games is probably a little long.”

LeMahieu, who was playing third base Friday night, has had a very quiet spring. He was hitting .258 with a homer and three RBI in 43 at-bats.

VOTE FOR FRAZIER

After being a surprise Gold Glove finalist in 2020 and being named the starting left fielder going into the 2021 season, Clint Frazier has high expectations for himself this year.

“I do think there’s a good chance that I could find myself on the All-Star ballot if I produce the way that I hope that I can,” Frazier told reporters Thursday night. “Obviously, there are a lot of things I’d have to do to get into that position, but I do feel capable and there’s a reason why I’ve spoken with a lot of confidence in the past.”

In 37 at-bats, he’s hit .243 with a pair of homers in six RBI this spring. He transformed himself from a liability in the outfield in 2019 to a solid defender in the coronavirus pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He was even a finalist for the Gold Glove in right field, where he played 28 games while Aaron Judge was injured.

In the 60-game 2020 season, Frazier hit .267 with 26 RBI and a .905 OPS in 131 at-bats.

“The goal is to be an impact player,” Frazier said, “one that shows what I can finally do over the course of 162 games. Like I said to you guys earlier in the month, I have goals in my head of what I want to accomplish. I think they’re pretty fair goals.”