WASHINGTON — Tyler Wade was at second base Thursday night against the Nationals, but it might be a while before he starts at that position again.
“He is on the roster,’’ Aaron Boone said of All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who returned this past weekend after being sidelined by COVID-19. “Just felt like with the off-day [Friday] he has done a lot of work, he has gotten a lot of reps. I feel like he is close to being an option for us but I just felt it was best to hold off tonight. He didn’t start last Opening Day and that worked out well for him and us.’’
Boone said “we will see’’ when asked if LeMahieu would be in the lineup Saturday.
While most of the Yankees will rest Friday, LeMahieu is scheduled to be at Nationals Park to take hacks against Jordan Montgomery.
“He will get a lot of at-bats off of him so it will be another work day for DJ. We will really ramp him up the best we can and we will have more conversation around it,’’ Boone said before the Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Nationals. “He would be more of an option for Saturday.’’
As for Wade, he contributed to the win with his legs, eye and bunting ability. He drew a walk and scored from first in the third on Aaron Judge’s double and beat out a bunt in the fifth that sent Gio Urshela to second and eventually scored.
The message has been pounded into players’ heads before the first day spring training 2.0 opened: stay safe not only for yourself but others in the organization as the battle against COVID-19 continues.
“We have our meetings, our Zoom calls and our messages up on our phones and constantly communicating and hopefully everybody [is] working along the same guidelines,’’ Brett Gardner said Thursday afternoon. “We all have a responsibility to stay as safe as possible in these times and what one or two of us do can affect the whole team or the whole league. We are excited to make it to Opening Day. We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us as we travel throughout the season but we will do our best to embrace it and make the most of it and try to enjoy it together as a team.’’
When the Yankees didn’t put Adam Warren in the 60-player pool, the veteran right-hander who was in the first leg of a two-year minor league contract following Tommy John surgery last year had to be released. That happened, and now he will be a free agent when the rehab process is complete.
“Technically I am a free agent,’’ Warren told The Post on Thursday via phone from his Tampa-area home. “It’s a weird situation.’’
According to Warren, because of his service time and pitching on a major league contract last (with San Diego), the Yankees had to put him on the roster, pay him a $100,000 retention bonus or release him.
“One of those CBA-type rules. In my situation there wasn’t any way around it except to release me,’’ said Warren, who pitched for the Yankees from 2012-16 and again from 2017-18. “Most of the time when this happens they re-sign me at a minor league contract and it isn’t an issue. That was what we understood before the pandemic hit.’’
According to Warren, the Yankees have handled the situation very well.
“We knew it was coming and the Yankees were very honest about it,’’ said Warren, who continues to rehab the elbow by throwing bullpen sessions at a local field and looking forward to completing the rehab process inside of two months. “It’s kind of a crazy rule in these crazy times.’’
Warren, who turns 33 late next month, wants to pitch next year and his top choice would be with the organization that selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 draft.
“That would be ideal. They put the time into helping me get back to where I was,’’ Warren said of rejoining the Yankees next year. “Hopefully the opportunity is there and we will see what happens.’’
In addition to recalling LeMahieu from the COVID-19 list on Thursday, the Yankees added infielder Thairo Estrada and right-handed pitchers Michael King and Ben Heller to the 30-man roster.
According to Boone, left-handed-hitting Mike Ford was a consideration to start at first base against Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer, but Boone stuck with the right-handed-hitting Luke Voit. Ford was one of eight Yankees to make their first Opening Day roster.
Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka, Gio Urshela, Heller, King, Jonathan Loaisiga and Estrada were the others.
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