Through two Yankees intrasquad games, Clint Frazier hasn’t surfaced in the outfield due to a foot problem — though it wasn’t serious enough to keep him from being a DH.
“Clint has had a little plantar fasciitis, but it really hasn’t held him back,. We have held him back in the early going of getting him out in the outfield,’’ Aaron Boone said on a Zoom call following a spring training 2.0 workout Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
According to the manager, the foot issue didn’t hold back Frazier Wednesday when there was no intrasquad game.
“He was out sprinting today and doing all of his outfield work,’’ Boone said. “Base running and, obviously, hitting. I don’t expect it to slow him much. We are kind of going easy with him here at the start.’’
Before COVID-19 erased the first three months of the schedule, Frazier had a legitimate chance to be the Yankees’ Opening Day left fielder — since Brett Gardner would replace Aaron Hicks in center and Mike Tauchman would take over for Aaron Judge in right. That would have given Frazier the job in left.
Now, with Opening Day scheduled for July 23, Judge and Hicks are healthy, and Frazier will be in a fight to be among the 30-man roster that will last for the first two weeks before shrinking to 28 and eventually 26.
Adding to Frazier’s battle to make the team is the Yankees are very serious about looking at Miguel Andujar in left and right field.
Joe Girardi returns to Yankee Stadium later this month as the Phillies’ manager for an exhibition game against the team he helped win three World Series from 1996-99 as a player and managed from 2008-17, winning the World Series in 2009.
“I think it’ll be odd because I’m not used to going in the other dugout or the other locker room. But it would be good to get back. But it’s going be a little bit different. I have to make sure I don’t turn into the wrong door when I come down the stairs, and I think we do come in a different way as the visiting team, so that should help out. I won’t lead, I will follow make sure I go to the right place,’’ Girardi said Wednesday on a Zoom call from Philadelphia.
Girardi and former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius will be at Yankee Stadium on July 20, and after the Yankees play two regular-season games in Philly on July 27-28 the teams meet July 29-30 in The Bronx, which includes the Yankees’ home opener.
Asked what his best Opening Day memory at the Stadium was, Girardi included George Steinbrenner.
“It had to have been 2010, being able to give the [2009 World Series] ring to Mr. Steinbrenner, that has to be my fondest memory. There are a lot of fond memories because we won in ’96, ’98. … But there’s something that’s just truly special that I had an opportunity to give it to him before he passed on. It was special to me,’’ Girardi said of The Boss, who died in the middle of the 2010 season.
Masahiro Tanaka worked inside and outside Wednesday.
“Still at this point taking it slowly, but he is doing pretty good,’’ Boone said of Tanaka, who suffered a concussion Saturday when hit in the head by a batted ball off Giancarlo Stanton’s bat during a simulated game.
Right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga completed his intake testing process and threw a bullpen session Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
“He should be good to go and tentatively we have him going Saturday, a couple of innings but he looked good today,’’ Boone said.
The Yankees placed DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa on the COVID-19 list and invited right-hander Adonis Rosa to spring training.
LeMahieu and Cessa are quarantining at home and need to pass intake protocols for COVID-19 before entering the Stadium. The moves aren’t backdated because there is no minimum or maximum days a player needs to spend on the COVID-19 IL.
Kyle Higashioka participated in early fielding fundamentals on Wednesday, a day after the catcher was scratched as the DH in an intrasquad game.
During Tuesday night’s intrasquad game, there was confusion about whether a ball can be thrown around the diamond following an out under the new guidelines.
After checking with the medical staff, Boone was told players are discouraged from throwing the ball around.
“But I think there is a little bit of digression in there about if a number of guys handle the ball over the course of a play that ball typically is going to be thrown out,’’ Boone said. “Balls get thrown out all the time anyway. Maybe that will be a little bit more now. But I think it is just avoiding a lot of guys handling the ball on a given play. But usually nowadays, pre-COVID, once a ball is in play it gets thrown out pretty quickly.’’
The Yankees didn’t have an intrasquad game Wednesday when they worked out but will play one both on Thursday and Friday.
Stanton recently teamed with Lovate Health Sciences International under Six Star Pro Nutrition and helped donate 18,000 servings of protein to support first responders in New York City, Miami and the Boys and Girls Clubs in L.A. for their commitment to youth and their families as they face the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.