With the return of Aaron Hicks looming, many question have been raised. How much will he play? Will his level of production return to where it was pre-injury? Will Clint Frazier be sent back to Scranton? These are all valid questions, and there are a few factors that we must consider when looking for answers.
Prior to his injury, Hicks was having by far the best season of his career with a .290/.398/.515 batting line. He had always been touted as someone with immense potential and it seemed as if he was finally meeting it. However, in the week leading up to his injury, Hicks was only 3-for-25.
Was this small slide due to his oblique injury? Or were pitchers starting to figure out how to attack him? I like to think it was the former.
Whether or not Hicks returns to this level of production will determine his amount of playing time, along with the fate of a certain Baby Bomber.
Had Clint Frazier not burst onto the scene with a boom, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. However, Frazier has quickly become a fan favorite largely due to his ability to punish the baseball (15 of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases.)
General Manager Brian Cashman was originally quoted saying that Frazier would return to Scranton upon Hicks’ return, but has since gone back on that statement by saying that he will cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Frazier has without a doubt established himself as big-league ready. If the organization does decide to option him back to Triple A, expect to see him back on September 1st.
It’s no secret that Holliday has struggled since the All-Star break. While this could potentially be due to his back injury that just landed him back on the disabled list, it is also possible that he was put on the shelf to try and figure out his swing. It also might be no coincidence that he hasn’t hit since returning from that mysterious viral infection he suffered from.
The extent of his injury is unclear, but the opening at designated hitter will allow Joe Girardi to ease Hicks back into action by rotating his outfielders at DH in order to keep their legs fresh.
If this is the case, none of the outfielders would have to suffer a significant loss of playing time, at least for the time being.
Ultimately the impact that Hicks makes on the roster will be determined by his play. If he returns to pre-injury form, expect him to be in the lineup more often than not. Whether that be as the everyday left fielder, or a rotating starter with players bouncing in and out of the DH spot will ultimately be determined by the aforementioned factors.
Also, it’s worth noting that Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t going anywhere. His contract is unmovable and it doesn’t seem likely that the Yankees are willing to do what the Red Sox did with Pablo Sandoval. At this point, an offseason transaction seems to be the most likely scenario, if anything is to happen at all.
So what do you think? Does Clint Frazier go back to Scranton? Will Matt Holliday return and produce? Is Aaron Hicks the 2017 version of himself or the 2013-2016 version of himself? Let us know what you think will be the case.