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Aaron Boone leaning toward taking 13 pitchers out of camp

The manager says having a 13th pitcher on the roster early in the season depends on how things are going.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone before the start of

Yankees manager Aaron Boone before the start of a spring training game against the Pirates at Lemcom Park in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 24, 2018. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Looks as if the Yankees will be going with lucky No. 13 out of camp.

Meaning, a 13th pitcher.

Aaron Boone indicated Thursday that’s the direction the club likely is headed when the Yankees break camp this weekend. It’s good news for righthanders Domingo German, Luis Cessa and Jonathan Holder, the remaining candidates for the job.

“It could be fluid. It just kind of depends how things are going early in the season,” Boone said. “It’ll be something we’re constantly weighing, what’s the better option, what’s the better thing to have on a nightly basis, on a series-to-series basis. To start [the season], we’re leaning toward that 13th.”

German and Cessa are starters whom the Yankees may choose to keep in the minors as rotation depth, so the job could belong to Holder, who has a 1.80 ERA in seven exhibition outings. German has posted a 2.30 ERA in six games, including three scoreless innings on Thursday.

Boone also used the word “fluid” to describe how he envisions the relievers who will set up closer Aroldis Chapman. “That’ll be something each night we’ll go in very prepared with a thought of which matchups we like, game [situation], score. All those things will factor in,” he said. “All those guys, you could see them anywhere from the fifth or sixth to the eighth inning on a given night.”

Ellsbury returns

Jacoby Ellsbury, out with a right oblique strain, played in his first game since March 1, starting in center and going 0-for-2 with a walk. “Definitely a productive day for me,” he said. Boone has said Ellsbury is likely to start the season on the disabled list. “We haven’t talked about it yet,” Ellsbury said. “Just trying to get my at-bats and play in some games.”

Title or bust?

Boone declined to say if he’d consider the season a failure if the Yankees don’t win the World Series. “Obviously, that’s the goal but . . . I think you’re getting ahead of yourself,” Boone said. “Our expectation is to be a great team, but you really have to live in the moment. We’re about trying to get ready to go for Thursday [in Toronto] and be great when we walk out on that field.”

New York Sports