Yankees promote Clint Frazier just in time for Nationals series
There’s a 100 percent chance of “Red Thunder” tonight in Washington D.C. when the Yankees take on the Nationals in the first of a two-game set.
On Sunday, I said my piece as to why Clint Frazier deserved a promotion from Triple-A Scranton to the Yankees. Two days later, the 23-year-old outfielder will get his chance in pinstripes to prove he belongs for an extended stay.
After slashing .362/.423/.702 with three doubles, two triples, two homers and four RBI in 47 at-bats, on Saturday, Frazier told the New York Post he’s big league ready.
"“I don’t think there’s much more I have to prove to myself to know I can go out there and perform. This is the best I’ve felt physically, mentally, every other way, so I know I’m ready.”"
The biggest question now is which member of the 25-man roster is either sent down to the minors, the disabled list or designated for assignment?
Rumors are currently swirling that centerfielder Aaron Hicks suffered some sort of muscle strain and will need at least 10 days to recover. Though this wouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Hicks missed all but 88 games in 2017 with two separate oblique strains, as of right now, this is hearsay.
We should know the truth once manager Aaron Boone releases his starting lineup.
If reports of a Hicks injury are false, reliever David Hale could be looking at his third DFA by the Yankees already this season. With the club carrying 13 relievers (one extra than most teams) right-hander A.J. Cole has looked more than capable as the Yanks’ long-man in two outings since being acquired from these same Nationals for cash.
The Yankees are slated to face left-hander Gio Gonzalez in Game 1 — and arguably, the most dominant starting pitcher currently in the game in Max Scherzer in Game 2.
With veteran Brett Gardner batting a lowly .188 with a .465 OPS versus lefties, perhaps he takes a seat on Tuesday so that Frazier gets his chance.
Of course, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire — and over the past four games for the Railriders of the International League, Frazier has been penciled in as the team’s center fielder of choice each time.
Considering Hicks’ run of inconsistent offensive production over the first 40 games of the season, it was only a matter of time before general manager Brian Cashman made a move to get a look at another one of his top prospects.
Erik Boland of Newsday recently spoke with Cashman who said he isn’t surprised by anything Frazier does down on the farm.
"“Anything that he does at that level’s not going to surprise me because he is an extremely talented, high-ceiling player and obviously with a great deal of motivation to be an impact player,” general manager Brian Cashman said by phone Monday. “It’s good to see him playing up to his capabilities.”"
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Reliever Tommy Kahnle is traveling with the team during this eight-game road trip and is expected to return to action within the next 10 days. So it will be interesting to see how long Frazier stays up if everyone on the 25-man roster is deemed healthy.