Aaron Judge named Yankees' starting right fielder

ByAndrew Marchand ESPN logo
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Aaron Judge will be the starting right fielder for the New York Yankees to begin the season, manager Joe Girardi announced in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7, 275-pound Judge entered Thursday's exhibition play with a .975 OPS in 58 at-bats. He began camp as the clear favorite to win the right field job over Aaron Hicks. The team's owner, Hal Steinbrenner, said this winter he favored having Judge in right field.

Judge, 24, hit .179 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 84 at-bats last season. He hit .270 with 19 homers and 65 RBIs in 352 at-bats at Triple A.

Hicks, 27, will serve as the team's fourth outfielder, likely receiving a good amount of playing time spelling Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Judge.

He received 327 at-bats for the Yankees last season, hitting .217 with eight homers and 31 RBIs.

Girardi also said that pitcherLuis Severino will be the team's fourth starter. Severino, 23, blasted on to the Yankees scene as a rookie in 2015, going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts. Last season, his ERA ballooned to 5.89 and he lost his starting job. He will follow Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda in the Yankees' rotation.

The fifth starter is still to be determined. It is coming down to righty Bryan Mitchell and lefty Jordan Montgomery. Since the Yankees have three days off in the first two weeks of the season, they will not need a fifth starter until the middle of April.