Yankees: Clint Frazier likely out for the season after suffering another setback
The Yankees were hopeful that Clint Frazier would return to the big league roster at some point in September after he started a rehab assignment for A-Advanced Tampa last week. Unfortunately, as of this week, Frazier’s post-concussion symptoms are reportedly back and his season is now likely over.
Before the Yankees acquired Andrew McCutchen last week the team clearly had a need for Frazier and an opening for him to earn some playing time in the outfield if he could ever get healthy. With Aaron Judge still hurt and Brett Gardner continuing to struggle a healthy Frazier would have played a lot over the past two months. He would’ve had the opportunity to showcase his talents in an everyday role and finally stick on the big league roster.
This isn’t the first time this season the post-concussion symptoms have returned and forced Frazier back on the shelf which is a shame because this is something that’s out of his control. Any injury to the head or the brain is very scary because it can linger and ever since Frazier banged his head against the outfield wall back on February 24th he just hasn’t been able to get right.
As much as the Yankees would’ve loved to have Frazier back playing right now and throughout the season they’d be smart to end his season after this latest setback. Here’s Aaron Boone on the situation per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com:
"“As he was getting ready to get transferred to (Double-A) Trenton,” Boon said, “he started feeling symptoms, so he went up there and saw this guy and trying to really hone in and get the best program in place we can for him to start getting him on the right track for good. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.”"
Boone’s comments on Wednesday came after Frazier visited a doctor once he started experiencing the symptoms again. The Yankees still think Frazier will eventually make a full recovery and with the season nearing its end they’ll have the entire offseason to figure out what’s going on to help him get back to 100%.
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Since the symptoms have already returned multiple times this season when it seemed like Frazier was healthy and ready to play there’s no telling when that may be. Once he is 100% and the concussion is totally behind him Frazier projects to be in the mix for the starting job in left field next season. Although with the uncertainty surrounding the injury that could lead to Brett Gardner being brought back.
Gardner is in the midst of the final year of his contract with a team option for $12 million next season and you know he’d love to be back with the only team he’s ever played for. He’d provide the team with some insurance if Frazier remained sideline heading into next season. However, it’s hard to predict if the Yankees would want to bring back the 35-year-old veteran at that price tag.
Gardner has struggled this season, particularly in the second half as he enters the latter stages of his career. He’s currently hitting .238 with 12 HR and 41 RBI and could lose his starting job to McCutchen in left once Judge returns (if McCutchen ever gets going offensively).
Gardner might not be a starting outfielder anymore at this point in his career so hopefully, Frazier can get back to a point where the Yankees feel he is ready to take on that starting job. If he can get past this concussion for good he can still be a big part of the team’s future core and should get the opportunity to play every day next season.
First, let’s just hope he gets healthy because this has been a nightmare season for Frazier in what could have been his breakout campaign. Best wishes to Red Thunder.