TAMPA – Yankees positioners don't report until February 16, but Aaron Judge was in the team's minor league complex on Tuesday, playing with other regulars like Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit and Miguel Andujar.
"See you in a few weeks," said the judge, referring to the team's first full training.
Before that, however, the Yankees will take a look at many important parts of their lineup that missed a significant amount of time a year ago – including the players who trained on Tuesday.
A particularly interested observer was present who wanted to see what numbers the Yankees could put up without making so many trips to the injured list.
"I want to keep everyone on the field at the same time," said coach Marcus Thames. "When we have our lineup together, we can do a lot of good things."
The Yankees still led the majors with 943 races and met more than 300 homers on their way to the American League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history.
"They are all talented," said Thames. “We won 103 games last year and Aaron was two months out, Gary was two months out [Giancarlo] Stanton missed as many games as he did. If our boys feel good, we have a really dangerous lineup. "
The litany of injuries affected both the lineup and the pitching staff. Only Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu aggressively avoided trips to the IL. Richter (diagonally tensioned), Sanchez (groin and calf), Stanton (knee and biceps strain), Voit (an abdominal injury that had to be operated on) and Andujar (torn labrum) missed a significant amount of time.
Aaron Hicks had also suffered a back injury before being prevented from heading again with an elbow injury. He will likely be absent until mid-season after Tommy John's surgery.
"It was tough, but we trusted the guys who came," said Thames of all the injuries and players like Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman, who are doing well in their absence. "The boys came to New York and didn't miss a beat."
Still, it's not the same as some of the sport's most impressive players available every day.
"I would like to have Stanton for an entire season and Judge for an entire season," said Thames. "You are an elite player. If you have as many elite players, you want to get as much out of them as possible."
Part of this responsibility now lies with Eric Cressey, the newly appointed director of health and performance for the players.
It will be a while before we know if the training programs introduced by the new employees will result in fewer injuries, but Thames is excited about what the offense could do if it stayed in one piece.
"Gleyber has been here since December and looked good," said Thames. "It is the second day for Judge and we can start. He just pulls out the cobwebs. We will try to make sure that he is healthy and ready for action. The same goes for Gary and Stanton. I spoke to everyone in the off season and they feel good. "
Now it's just about keeping it that way.