TAMPA, Fla. — DJ LeMahieu was lauded by many as the Yankees’ most valuable player last year, including by manager Aaron Boone. The veteran infielder is continuing to shine by setting the tone for the club’s informal workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tyler Wade said Friday.
“I’m so glad DJ is here,” Wade said. “It’s not necessarily what he’s saying, it’s what he’s doing. It’s crazy how routine oriented this guy is and how professional he is. I’ve always said, during the season if I look at the clock, I know exactly where DJ is at. His routine is so on point. There is no wasted time.”
Wade and LeMahieu are among several Yankees who have opted to remain at the Steinbrenner Field complex, clocking daily workouts as they attempt to be ready whenever Major League Baseball announces a potential start date for the regular season.
Other players spotted Friday included Aaron Judge, who had a CT scan to evaluate the healing of his right rib stress fracture — the team is still awaiting those results. Mike Ford, Clint Frazier and Luis Severino also worked out inside the empty ballpark, and Ford live-streamed his batting group on Instagram.
“We kind of just treat it like our offseason a little bit,” Wade said. “It’s not really making our workouts longer or shorter or anything. It’s just whatever you feel is necessary to get in. We’re on our own program right now.”
Wade said that he is thankful that the Steinbrenner Field complex remains open, especially as 40 million residents in his home state of California have been placed on lockdown.
“I just want to stay here,” Wade said. “I feel like we have a season to get ready for, so me being here, being able to come in and see the guys and stay in that mindset is beneficial for me.
“ … By coming in here, I trust everyone in that facility that everything is going to be clean. Everyone’s wearing gloves. I’ve seen people, once they touch something, take off those gloves and throw them away. I almost feel like this is the safest place to be.”
When not at the park, Wade said that he has been occupying his time by watching Netflix and playing lots of PlayStation. The Yankees have a Madden football league, with Ben Heller’s Colts set to face Tommy Kahnle’s Eagles in a virtual Super Bowl.
Wade said that the game will be played when both hurlers return to their respective homes, as Heller and Kahnle are driving north. In the meantime, the Yankees and the other 29 clubs will continue to wait for more information.
“We have such a great team; we just added Gerrit Cole,” Wade said. “We were so excited in that room. You saw the energy. It just sucks to put everything on pause."