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Yankees mailbag: Why Mike Tauchman won’t be a starter

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You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Yankees.

Why isn’t [Mike] Tauchman an every-day outfielder? — New York Knight

Who do you want him to replace? Aaron Judge is the right fielder. They are paying Aaron Hicks $10 million to play center and Brett Gardner is in left. The most value Tauchman offers is the ability to play all three outfield spots well and produce at the plate while doing that, and be available if there is an injury.

Why has Aaron Boone been so reluctant in using the big bullpen arms? … Short season. Stop playing around. — Brian Rappaport

This is Boone’s third year managing the Yankees, and from Day 1 he has protected the relievers with the hope of keeping them healthy.. Don’t expect him to veer from that plan in a short season, preceded by three weeks of prep time instead of six weeks. There are going to be games when some of the late-inning arms are not available and Boone isn’t going to use them no matter what.

When will they finally hit on a midseason trade for a pitcher? [J.A.] Happ and [Sonny] Gray [were] complete busts. Go make a splash. We need 28. — RossCo

Easier said than done. Perhaps you can propose a trade with details as to who is available and what the price would be? And remember, dealing in this COVID-19 environment will likely be limited.

Why are J.A. Happ and [James] Paxton on the team but Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn not on the team? — Matmoney

Based on the way Lynn pitched in Texas last year, the right-hander bounced back after leaving the Yankees, but remember, by the end of his stay in The Bronx, Lynn was being used in relief. As for Gray, he wasn’t a good fit with the Yankees, so much so that GM Brian Cashman admitted he was looking to deal him.

What could the Yankees get back if they traded [Clint] Frazier, [Miguel] Andujar and [Gary] Sanchez? — TaxnotSpendnot

Do you mean as a package or individually? A package would likely entice a few teams, because they are young and outside of Sanchez don’t make much money. However, any team looking to trade a power-hitting catcher — I know the slow start with the bat is concerning, but his defense has improved regardless of what Sanchez’s critics say — will have to part with something more than young prospects who aren’t major league ready. Individually they are all intriguing.

What is the timeline on [Aroldis] Chapman returning to the Yankees? — Pool Noodle

Wednesday, Boone answered a question about when Chapman would return, and the manager replied it wasn’t going to be anytime soon. With Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green and a rebounding Jonathan Holder, the Yankees can take it slow with Chapman, even though Tommy Kahnle is done for the year due to Tommy John surgery.

Submit your Yankees questions to be answered in an upcoming mailbag

What should the Yankees do with J.A. Happ if he continues to struggle? — Julia

The knee-jerk answer is to remove him from the rotation and turn him into a long reliever. However, that would mean the use of an opener more than the Yankees probably would like, since Chad Green has the most experience in that role but is more valuable as a late-inning reliever. Jonathan Loaisiga could be an option, and if the Yankees want to get daring, Deivi Garcia or Clarke Schmidt could be elevated from the satellite camp to the big leagues. The easiest solution is Happ improving.

All we heard is how the Yankees believed in Andujar in left field and now he is sent out. Have they stopped believing? — Jeff Cohen

Only if they are foolish. Andujar was sent to the satellite camp simply because Gio Urshela is hitting and providing Gold Glove defense at third. The left-field experiment is just that: an experiment. And with Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier to play left, Andujar is fourth on the depth chart. Remember, too, he missed most of last year due to shoulder surgery and has been a regular player for all of his professional career until this year. Being a bench player at his age is difficult.

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