The Yankees had their first official workout of spring training 2.0, playing and working out in an empty Yankee Stadium.
“It was definitely different,’’ Jordan Montgomery said. “But it’s just like working in Tampa in an empty stadium. You try to get your work in, stay focused and stay safe as I can.”
Unlike the numerous back fields the Yankees are accustomed to at their complex in Tampa, they had to use just the one field at Yankee Stadium as they adjust to their new situation.
After the first day, manager Aaron Boone said he was pleased with how efficient they were.
“I thought it went pretty well,’’ said Boone, who acknowledged Masahiro Tanaka getting hit by a Giancarlo Stanton liner early in the workout changed the tenor of the day. “Masahiro getting hit took the air out of it and put a little fear in everyone.”
But he liked what he saw from the work the team put in.
“From an operational standpoint, I thought we were in good shape,’’ Boone said. “We used four mounds for bullpens and that worked well. It was a little bit of a longer day for our coaching staff, but we were in a good spot facility-wise with the reps we needed to get.”
He said the team would have to get “creative” with how they worked and with various team-building exercises, calling the situation “a whole different animal.”
Montgomery said the toughest adjustment so far has been the ban on spitting and licking fingers on the mound.
“I’ve been doing better,’’ Montgomery said.
Aaron Hicks added it took a while to get used to wearing masks while working out indoors.
“It’s the new normal,’’ Hicks said. “It takes a while to get adjusted on the baseball field. You want to engage in conversation and you’re told to stay at a distance.”
He was careful while working out indoors in Arizona and believes the team will do the same this season.
“It’s definitely been a conversation, to honor each other,’’ Hicks said. “We all need to be accountable on and off the field. We all want to win and want to be here. The objective here is to win a championship. We need everybody to be healthy.”
Aaron Hicks, coming back from Tommy John surgery, said he felt “game-ready” but admitted he still hasn’t found total consistency with his throwing following the October procedure.
Asked if he was throwing “100 percent,” Hicks responded: “One hundred percent? It takes a while. I feel game-ready right now to compete and be consistent in the outfield.”
The issue right now, Hicks said, is velocity.
“Some come out, some don’t,’’ Hicks said. “There’s some inconsistency. That’s pretty normal through the process.”
Hicks added he’s been following the nationwide protests closely after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which led to more focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I feel it’s a pretty strong movement right now,’’ Hicks said. “It’s something I definitely want to be a part of. It’s something that’s been going on throughout my life: black lives going unnoticed.”