BALTIMORE — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman used the word “pliable” the day before in describing how teams have to be during a 60-game MLB season that is being played in the midst of a pandemic.
Pliable is a good word for the schedule, too.
As of Sunday night, the next two weeks of the Yankees schedule looked like this: Monday and Tuesday in Philadelphia against the Phillies; Wednesday and Thursday vs. the Phillies at Yankee Stadium, then a three-game series starting Friday vs. the Red Sox at the Stadium. Next week brought three games in Baltimore next Monday through Wednesday, then a four-game series at the Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida Aug. 6-9.
It’s changed dramatically after the events in recent days with the Marlins and the outbreak of COVID-19 on their roster.
Currently — and it goes without saying this is subject to change — the Yankees were slated to play twice against the Orioles at Camden Yards Wednesday and Thursday before keeping the same dates with the Red Sox this weekend.
But next week will now see the Yankees playing the Phillies Monday and Tuesday at the Stadium, followed by games Wednesday and Thursday against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Then it will be a trip to Tropicana Field for three against the Rays that could include a doubleheader, according to Aaron Boone.
“I feel like our players understand that it’s going to be a little bit different, and they’ve been great at making adjustments and understanding just how different this season is,” Boone said before Wednesday night’s game here. “But we need to perform under it and be prepared.”
Rotation set for Boston
After J.A. Happ makes his season debut Thursday night, Jordan Montgomery and Masahiro Tanaka will make theirs this weekend against the Red Sox at the Stadium. Montgomery starts the home opener Friday and Tanaka, sidelined much of the three-week spring training reboot after suffering a concussion July 4 when Giancarlo Stanton hit him in the head with a comebacker, will go Saturday. James Paxton, who failed to record more than three outs Saturday in Washington, starts Sunday night.
Mike Ford, who got the start Wednesday night at first said, not surprisingly, what happened with the Marlins has come up in clubhouse discussions.
“For us, one of the messages to start the year was that we were going to have hiccups, bumps in the road and distractions throughout the year, just like every other team,” Ford said. “But as tedious as some [of the protocols] may be, it shows the importance, to us, of all of them. Maybe your mask is down occasionally or something, OK, now we’ve got to keep that on like all the time…I think it just highlights the steps we need to take are in place and we just need to do them, even though they might get in the way of the game a little bit.”