The likelihood of sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton seeing at-bats in the first inning of games will be high, but Aaron Boone may split up the behemoth tandem in the lineup with a lefty bat — such as first baseman Greg Bird or shortstop Didi Gregorius.
“In a perfect world. I would have a lefty splitting them up,” Boone told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “I think it would be nice. I’m not married to it yet. I think in an ideal situation, I would have a lefty in there. But nothing’s certain, and again it could be a matchup thing, it could be a team’s bullpen, how we view that matching up against us in games.”
Boone also isn’t opposed to a variety of leadoff hitters — including Judge, who won the American League Rookie of the Year award with 52 home runs last season.
“I’d say it’s possible. And I’ve thought of it,” Boone said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s likely, but something that I would view as possible, and it’s something I’ve at least considered and we’ve talked about.”
Last month, Boone told reporters that he intends to place either Judge or Stanton in the No. 2 spot this season. In 2017, Judge slashed .327/.465/.827 (98 at-bats) with 13 home runs, eight doubles, 27 walks, and 29 RBI while hitting second in the order. As for Stanton, who received National League MVP honors with a league-best 59 home runs last year, he spent the majority of the season in the two-spot. In 419 at-bats, the 28-year-old slashed .289/.391/.695 with 47 homers, 21 doubles, and 97 RBI.
“I’m not obsessed with it,” Boone told the Daily News of his thoughts on the future lineups. “It’s something that I think about possibly flirting with, and every now and then, on the bus ride down today, I start daydreaming a little bit about different [lineups], what makes the most sense.”