Boone On WFAN: Voit, Bird 'Both Going To Play'

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

The calendar is creeping toward the end of March, which means Opening Day is just around the corner.

One of the biggest storylines around the Yankees this spring has been the battle at first base between Luke Voit and Greg Bird.

Despite Voit entering spring training as the favorite to win the starting job, Bird swung the bat well in 42 at-bats this month. The 26-year-old looked impressive at the plate, hitting .333 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 19 games.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone joined "Mike's On" Tuesday to discuss the competition between Voit and Bird at first, telling Mike Francesa that both guys have earned some significant playing time this spring.

"Well, they're both going to play," Boone said. "I think they'll both be a part of that mix, along with DJ LeMahieu, where they're basically playing almost every day. Probably initially, Birdy will be out there against lefties. You spell Voit here and there. LeMahieu is going to bounce around all over the place.

"(We're going to) just kind of lay it out matchup-wise, trying to keep everyone playing regularly while also taking advantage of a day off here and there."

The season has yet to start, but the Yankees are already dealing with injuries to a number of key contributors. 

Several pitchers are set to begin the year on the injured list. Additionally, New York will have to play without its starting center fielder to start the season.

Aaron Hicks is nursing a sore lower back and has yet to start baseball activities, although the manager said he is "gaining momentum" and hopes the center fielder can begin this weekend. Luckily for Boone and the Yankees, the team has depth in the outfield.

Brett Gardner hit .394 with three home runs and six RBIs in 33 at-bats this spring, and even at 35 years old, Boone knows that the veteran is more than capable of manning center field until Hicks returns. The team also acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Rockies this week, and the manager indicated he's confident rolling with those two in center for the forseeable future.

"I'll play Gardy regularly in center until Hicks is back," Boone said. "Gardy will pretty much play every day. Now Tauchman we feel good about as our fourth outfielder right now. He'll spell Gardy, and for that matter, sometime in the first couple weeks, if I give (Giancarlo) Stanton or (Aaron) Judge a day, he can play all three (outfield positions). 

To listen to Mike's full interview with Boone, click on the audio player above. 

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