Rougned Odor’s ‘edge’ is making Yankees take notice

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Rougned Odor’s stint with the Yankees has gotten off to a promising start. After providing the go-ahead hit in Sunday’s win over the Rays, Odor sparked the Yankees’ offense

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Rougned Odor’s stint with the Yankees has gotten off to a promising start.

After providing the go-ahead hit in Sunday’s win over the Rays, Odor sparked the Yankees’ offense in Monday’s 3-1 win over the Blue Jays with a one-out single in the fifth.

“All his at-bats were pretty competitive,’’ Boone said. “I liked how he moved in the field and turned a nice double play. He’s gonna play and get opportunities. It’s a day-to-day thing.”

On Monday, that meant Boone went with the same infield configuration, with Odor at second and DJ LeMahieu at first base.

And the lefty-swinging Odor delivered three of the hardest-hit balls of the night, including the Yankees’ first hit against southpaw Robbie Ray.

While Jay Bruce has looked shaky at the plate and at first base, Boone said the veteran would get “back in there at some point.”

In the meantime, they want to get a closer look at Odor, who was acquired in a trade after being designated for assignment by the Rangers before Opening Day. And Boone also praised the “little bit of an edge and hunger he plays with. It’s been cool to see.”

Rougned Odor (r.) is already making his impact felt with the Yankees.

Boone noted Odor is young and has a good “first step” at second base.

“I feel like the at-bat quality has been there,’’ Boone said. “He’s had hard-hit balls and like the energy he brings to the field every day and the hunger he’s playing the game with. He’s handled himself well at second base. He’s earned some opportunities.”

Boone said the conditions were “pretty good” at TD Ballpark, the Single-A stadium where the Blue Jays are playing their home games due to Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“It didn’t feel like spring training,’’ Boone said of Toronto’s spring training site. “It felt like a real game.”

The lower decks of the stadium made it challenging for both hitters and fielders at twilight, Boone said.

Gerrit Cole said it was “fine.”

Jameson Taillon said he “paid attention” to the Blue Jays’ series against the Angels to see if playing at a Single-A ballpark would have any impact on the game.

“It may sound cheesy, but I think you can put two major league teams in a municipal park and we’re gonna find a way to compete and make it work,’’ the right-hander said. “It’s a division matchup and the Blue Jays are a hungry and young team. … We need to go out ready to compete, no matter where we’re playing.”

Taillon remained encouraged by his first outing and said he was particularly pleased with how his fastball played and has focused on being more aggressive with his curveball, since he felt it got better during his first start.

Clarke Schmidt received a cortisone shot on Monday, Boone said, in an attempt to treat the lingering discomfort the right-hander is feeling after being shut down with a strained elbow since February.

“They feel like hopefully this should solve the issue to get him over the final hump,’’ Boone said. “We expect, if it does work in the next couple days, he should start throwing sometime later this week or next week.”

Before Aaron Hicks decided to sit out of Monday’s starting lineup because of the killing of a black man in Minneapolis by a police officer, the center fielder was slated to hit sixth, which would have marked the first time he wasn’t third in the order. Boone said he was going with Giancarlo Stanton second and Aaron Judge third against the left-hander Ray.

“It’s been a combination I’ve considered against left-handed pitching since the spring,’’ Boone said of Stanton and Judge hitting second and third, respectively. “They’re two great players and given how right-handed heavy we are, try to maximize that against a tough left-handed pitcher.”

Boone said Hicks would continue to hit third versus right-handed starters.

“I still like the way he splits up [the lineup],’’ Boone said. “I’m still very confident he’s gonna have a very good year.”

Clint Frazier also returned to the lineup after sitting two straight games.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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