Lyle Overbay says he played the outfield in the minor leagues more than a decade ago.
On Monday night, he’ll make his first MLB start in right for the Yankees in his 1,376th career game -- using Boone Logan’s outfielder’s glove.
“[Lyle]’s done it. He played outfield earlier in his career, some in the minor leagues a little bit,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He took fly balls a lot in Boston when he was in spring training. We’ve been forced to be a little bit creative here because of some of the injuries. And until we just feel that we’re going to give him an opportunity out there. It also gives us a little coverage for Tex [Mark Teixeira] at first base, if he needs a day off. We’ll see how it goes.”
“Well, if you’re going to give Lyle some opportunities in right field, Brennan, it’s probably going to take a few away from him,” Girardi said. “So we’ll get him playing everyday down there, and that will probably help him as well.”
Overbay also said he played the outfield in spring training with the Boston Red Sox. He has been shagging flies during batting practice the last couple days.
“Robby Thomson and me talked and he said ‘go out there if you’re bored or whatever. I didn’t want to get in Tex’s way and I was hitting in group two,” Overbay said. “I saw Vernon [Wells] play shortstop one day so I figured maybe that’ll open the door a little bit.”
Back in 2001, Overbay was moved to the outfield for 20 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate.
He found out that he was going to play the outfield on Monday.
“Rob kind of mentioned it, try to get here early today and take some extra fly balls just in case,” Overbay said. “So I think they kind of had it in their mind that were going to sleep on it or something.”
Overbay is hitting .247 for the Yankees this season with eight home runs and 29 RBIs. He will be batting fifth in the order.