“Now he’s one of the bad guys. We’ve got to worry about him,” Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester told reporters on Sunday.
Youkilis, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2001, won two World Series rings and was selected to three All-Star Games during his time in Boston, and he’ll forever be regarded as one of the organization’s grittiest players. Seeing a clean-shaven Youkilis donning pinstripes with the Yankees this season is certainly going to take some getting used to, especially for those players who spent years going to battle alongside the hard-working infielder.
“It’ll be weird,” Lester said of competing against Youkilis as a member of the Yankees. “I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would happen. But he made that choice for him and his family. I’m sure he’s excited about it.”
Youkilis will not only be lacing up his cleats in the Bronx this season, but he also figures to be an important player for the Yankees, who enter the season plagued by injuries. The Yankees will likely use Youkilis’ ability to play both first base and third base at points this season, and he’ll need to provide some pop for an offense that figures to regress a bit.
Youkilis kicks off his Yankees career by playing first base and batting cleanup in Monday’s season opener.