After Wednesday night’s win over the Angels, the Yankees announced that Clint Frazier would be placed on the 10-day IL with a left ankle sprain. Frazier is now their fifth outfielder who’s currently on the IL so to add some depth they made the move today to acquire veteran Cameron Maybin from the Indians.
There was hope that Frazier would be able to play through this latest injury but once the Yankees sent him to get an MRI it was only a matter of time before more bad news was revealed. The gritty Yanks have somehow managed to win six straight and eight of their last nine but the offense will now be without their most productive hitter to start the season for at least 10-14 days.
Things have already gotten so out of hand on the injury front for the Yankees that at this point it’s no longer a surprise to see another player land on the IL. With each passing day, the list gets longer as it’s now back up to 13 players even after Gary Sanchez’s return to the lineup on Wednesday night.
If there’s one positive takeaway to come from Frazier’s injury it’s that he should be the first of their five injured outfielders to return from the IL. Giancarlo Stanton’s bicep strain has healed but the Yankees dropped a bombshell prior to Wednesday’s win announcing that he suffered a separate shoulder injury which required him to get a cortisone shot. That likely means he’s still weeks away from a return.
Aaron Hicks (lower back strain) still hasn’t started playing in any rehab games. However, he is hitting on the field and throwing to bases! Aaron Judge is probably the furthest away from a return due to a significant oblique strain while Jacoby Ellsbury is pretty much MIA dealing with whatever he’s dealing with.
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The Yankees had great outfield depth heading into the season, but now Tyler Wade of all people is their starting left fielder so the move to acquire Maybin had to be made. After Thairo Estrada’s call-up to replace Judge on the roster the Yanks were out of position players on the 40-man roster to call up.
The 32-year old Maybin was playing for the Indians Triple-A team the Columbus Clippers prior to today’s trade, but he’s had plenty of big league experience since entering the league in 2007. He’s more of a fourth outfielder if anything at this point in his career, although he’s still a good defender at all three outfield positions and can run very well.
Career Numbers: .254 BA, 60 HR, 315 RBI, 881 H, .690 OPS, 174 SB
He’ll probably get some starts against left-handed starters but he’ll be used more off the bench in late game situations as a pinch runner or defensive replacement for Wade. Between him and Wade, the Yankees aren’t going to get much production out of their left-fielders so it’s extremely important that guys like Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit carry the load offensively.
Until the reinforcements like Frazier start arriving this Yankee lineup doesn’t have a ton of firepower so they need their best hitters to step up.