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Aaron Boone tells players to embrace huge expectations

Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to media during

Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to media during a news conference on the first day of spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 13, 2018. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Boone stood in front of his full team for the first time as Yankees manager on Monday and delivered a message about the high expectations surrounding the club.

“The expectations are huge,” he said, “and we will embrace that.”

Boone said part of his message was stressing “the importance of spring training” and the work done here daily.

“I believe we have a very good team, a team with a lot of potential, but understanding that’s what it is right now,” Boone said. “Spring training is a time where we’re really trying to get individuals ready but also a time where we’re going to grind away at the little things. We want to go from being a good team to a championship-caliber team, and I think you do that by being good at the little things.”

Boone, who was named manager in December, said addressing the team “meant a lot” to him.

“It was special for me to get to stand up there in front of guys I already have a lot of respect for,” Boone said. “It was something I won’t forget.”

Sorting it out

Don’t count general manager Brian Cashman among those who think the Yankees have an overabundance of outfielders.

“It’s an area of strength. We’re protected a lot of different ways,” Cashman said.

As things currently stand, Brett Gardner would start in left and Aaron Hicks in center. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton would share time in right and also, perhaps, get some time in left. Jacoby Ellsbury is a reserve and Clint Frazier, who showed some ability in his major-league debut last year and looked noticeably more muscular upon reporting to camp, seems destined to start in the minors.

“The game will tell us who belongs out there on a daily basis; whoever’s not out there, wait their turn to impact us in a positive way,” Cashman said. “I think we’re fortunate to have the depth.”

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