Aaron Boone Changed His Mind on Alex Verdugo's Role in Lineup in Record Time

Apr 27, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo (24) celebrates.
Apr 27, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo (24) celebrates. / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Year one with the New York Yankees has been good to outfielder Alex Verdugo thus far. The veteran is slashing .267/.358/.446 with four home runs and 13 RBIs a month into the season—all while riding the highest OPS+ of his career.

Verdugo has been good enough, in fact, to both get a lofty assignment from manager Aaron Boone and quickly have it yanked away.

In a Tuesday conversation with Talkin' Yanks, Boone was asked whether Verdugo would hit cleanup when he returned from paternity leave. He responded in the affirmative while implying Verdugo would likely only hit fourth against right-handed pitchers.

On Thursday, the Yankees were scheduled to tussle with the Baltimore Orioles. Where in the order, dear reader, was Verdugo in his return against right-handed Orioles pitcher Kyle Bradish?

Sixth.

In an even funnier twist, first baseman Anthony Rizzo—who Boone said he'd explicitly alerted about the lineup change—was tabbed to hit cleanup.

Don't be surprised if Boone changes his mind again, especially if Verdugo continues his tear at the plate following his return from paternity leave.


Published
Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.