Primarily a second baseman, Dustin Ackley has no problems playing at first as well if needed.
TAMPA — Dustin Ackley played first base for three years at the University of North Carolina and he’s made 22 appearances there in the majors.
So if he is going to be Mark Teixeira’s backup at first base, it’s no problem, even though Ackley has played second base more than any other spot in the majors. “Going back to that position (first) is probably the easiest for me to get back used to,” Ackley said Monday.
“It always stays fresh a little bit and now that I know that I’ll possibly be playing there, to have a spring training to maybe get some extra work in will be really helpful.”
Ackley figures to be Starlin Castro’s backup at second, too, and may see time in the outfield. He made an impression on the Yankees last year, notching a .987 OPS in 23 games after a trade with Seattle.
“Even as a visiting player, I’ve always felt really comfortable hitting there (the Stadium),” said Ackley, who hit three of his four homers as a Yankee in the Bronx. “Now to have 81 games there is definitely a boost of confidence, from a mental standpoint. I was definitely excited to play there when I did last year. It’s a big change from Seattle.”
SANCHEZ TO CATCH ON
Gary Sanchez is the favorite to win the backup catching job, though Austin Romine and Carlos Corporan will try to push the rookie for the position. Sanchez’s work during the first few days of camp hasn’t hurt his status as frontrunner, as manager Joe Girardi praised the 23-year-old Monday.
“He’s looked very good so far,” Girardi said. “We were impressed by what he’s done and the strides he’s made, so I’m anxious to see him in games.”
The Yankees signed Chris Parmelee to a minor-league contract, adding first-base depth to the organization now that Greg Bird is out for the season.
The 27-year-old played parts of four seasons with the Twins from 2011-14, then appeared in 32 games with the Orioles last season. In 305 career games, Parmelee is a .245/.311/.396 hitter with 28 home runs and 94 RBI.
Parmelee has played about half his career games in the outfield, but GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees are viewing him as a first baseman.
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