Heavy storms rocked the nation’s capital yesterday. Now Washington, D.C. must brace for Red Thunder. Clint Frazier will join the Yankees for the series against the Nationals, the team announced. As a corresponding move, David Hale has been designated for assignment.
Frazier, 23, is up for the first time in 2018. He suffered a concussion during a Grapefruit League game on February 24th. The recovery process took longer than most expected, but he’s healthy now. In fact, the outfielder tore the cover off the ball in the minor leagues. He’s hit .323/.408/.645 with four home runs across 16 games. That works out a 198 wRC+. Most of that production came at the Triple-A level, too.
The timing of this promotion makes some sense, considering the Yankees have a pair of interleague games on tap. With no designated hitter, the Bombers could use the extra bat. Frazier gives Aaron Boone many options. One could argue that he would perform better than Aaron Hicks or Brett Gardner, who have hit to a 92 and 86 wRC+, respectively.
Interesting enough, Frazier isn’t in tonight’s lineup. He will be available for pinch hitting. One would guess that the Yankees would prefer having a switch-hitter off the bench, but that’s not the case. Time will tell how Boone figures to use Red Thunder. That doesn’t seem to both him, that much, though:
Clint Frazier says he’s happier to be here today after his concussion than even being called up last year. Really struggled dealing with the recovery.— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) May 15, 2018
For Hale, 30, this marks the second time he’s been designated for assignment by the Yankees this season. He’s pitched to 6.75 ERA (8.14 FIP) across eight major league innings for New York and the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees will play with a seven man bullpen for now. With a number of scheduled days off and inclement weather in the future, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Here’s hoping the Yankees keep Frazier up for a while and not just for this interleague series. That’s a question for another day, though. It’s time to enjoy having another young, impact player contributing to the ball club.