Last week, it was announced that the Yankees Triple-A team would play every game on the road this season, because of renovations to their home stadium, PNC Field.

That’s an extra 72 games on the road. Sixty of those 72 “road” games will be played in stadiums in upstate NY, which will rotate as the club’s “home.”

The Yankees’ AAA affiliate is where some of the farm system’s crown jewels will apply their trade, most notably Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine. There’s some other solid prospects there as well, like Adam Warren, David Phelps, and DJ Mitchell.

And now, these players will not have the stability of a home park, something which has rarely happened in baseball history (maybe even the first time for an MLB affiliate). There will be more travel, more buses, more hotels — these are the kids who are on the brink of moving to the Bronx, and now they’ll be shuffled around like a local Little League All-Star team. So we have to ask: Is this a good thing for their development??

And we’re not the only ones posing this question…some of the players and staff are asking the same thing:

Pitcher David Phelps:

“It’s another obstacle you’ve got to climb,” Phelps said. “Whatever attitude you take into it, is how you’ll deal with it. If you go into it thinking it’s going to be worse than it really is, it’s going to be worse than it is.”

IF Kevin Russo:

“Every baseball team has a home base. It’s going to be a little weird just not having one,” said 27-year-old infielder Kevin Russo, embarking on his fourth season with the team. “Friends, family, girlfriend, they all don’t really understand. Even I don’t understand it.”

Media Relations Director, Mike Vander Woude:

“I don’t how much it will impact the players because they are used to traveling,” Vander Woude said. “We’ve got 84 of the 144 games that will be played within three of four hours of Scranton and that will help. It will amount to a few more hotel stays than we’d normally have.”

Maybe it won’t have an impact at all, but it’s definitely worth asking the question. They don’t call it “home-field advantage” for nothing.


Manny, are you too good for your home!?!