|Andrew McCutchen taking batting practice Saturday. @Yankees.|
"Surreal" is how Andrew McCutchen described his feelings when he learned he would be joining the Yankees at his introductory press conference on Saturday afternoon.
McCutchen was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Yankees on Friday morning as an extra outfielder for the stretch run, insurance for Aaron Judge continuing to miss significant time with his wrist injury.
McCutchen will make his Yankee debut on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers in the leadoff spot of the order.
"You play this game, we all know the history here and just to see the news and to hear it, that I was going to be a Yankee, kind of a surreal feeling because, of course, I feel like a lot of baseball players want to throw on the pinstripes for who knows how long, just to say you did it," said McCutchen.
"For it to actually come to fruition is pretty surreal, it's the only word I can think of now. We're excited, me and my family, me and my wife, we're ready to get going."
|Photo by Jason Schott.|
Here is more of what McCutchen had to say on joining the Yankees:
On what he can bring to the team: "I go out there and I just play the game as hard as I can play it. That's the only way that I know. I feel like for myself, just playing the game like I've done, not only doing that, but having a lot of fun doing it. I think that's one of the key things I can bring here, just the charisma and having a lot of fun, making people laugh. They seem like they have a lot of fun here, so it won't be a hard adjustment for myself to get along with all the guys. Just keeping everybody upbeat regardless of whatever's going on. So, just having a little fun out there on the field and playing the game hard.
On what it means to be inserted into a pennant race: "It means it's time to go. There's no going through the motions, just trying to finish out the season on a high. It's time to go, something to fight towards, and I have been in this situation before, so I'm ready to go and ready to help the team in any way that I can here, and just try to give the team a boost any way that I can, yeah, so for me personally, I'm ready to get it started. We're all ready, and the goal is to make it past the playoffs and making it to a World Series and trying to win. This franchise knows, they know how to do that and what it's all about, so I'm looking forward to that, just got to take it day by day and handle business today. That's what I'm ready to do."
On what yesterday was like with the trade and getting from San Francisco to New York: "It was kind of a slow process, honestly. It was an off day (Thursday) for us of course, but there definitely was something there for me, I told my wife, I said if anything's going to happen, it's going to happen today, and she was like, yeah, you're probably right, and so we just went on through our day. We don't get many days with the kids, with families, and off days, being at home in San Francisco at the time, so we just enjoyed our day. We were out, we were at Starbucks and I got the phone call that it was a possibility this could happen. It hadn't been set in stone, it was a possibility, and that was probably about 3 pm San Francisco, so it would have been 6:00 here. So, automatically didn't want my coffee right way, my stomach was kind of turning. Then, at that point, it was a wait game, waiting for a phone call, and I didn't get that phone call until the following day. Then, it became, alright, let's get here, let's get started. I had to kiss my wife and my nine-month-old goodbye and now I'm here for a couple days and we'll be right back over there a couple days later (when the Yankees start a three-game series in Oakland Monday). A lot of travel, but I won't get any of those points for traveling. That's kind of a little snippet of what happened.
On what it will be like for him shifting into a part-time role when Aaron Judge returns: "I came here with the knowledge of knowing the possibilities of, when Judge does return, what my role may be. So, I'm accepting of anything that happens. If that means being a guy that plays every so often, I'm fine with that. I'm just trying to help the team any way that I can, and that's the job. I'm not here to try and be selfish, and feel like I deserve time to play or whatever that may be. That's not me, I'm just trying to be a team player and help the team win any way that I can. Whatever happens from there is what happens. That's out of my control. One thing I can control is the way I play the game hard.