Yankees reinstate Clint Frazier from the IL, option Stephen Tarpley to Triple-A
With each passing day, the Yankees offense is getting closer and closer to returning to full strength. On Saturday the team welcomed back Miguel Andujar to the lineup and today Clint Frazier will make his return.
Through the first 33 games of the season, the Yankees are tied for 11th in baseball in runs scored and 8th in home runs with 51. Despite being without so many of their top sluggers for most of the season due to injuries the offense has managed to remain a strength of the team. And as the reinforcements continue to arrive the offense is only going to become more dangerous from here on out.
The return of Gary Sanchez from the IL has provided a huge boost over the past two weeks and the returns of Andujar and Frazier should certainly do the same. Prior to going down with a left ankle sprain on April 22nd, Frazier had been the Yankees most productive hitter in the lineup to start the season. After finally being given the chance to play every day he was taking full advantage of his opportunities batting .324 with 6 HR and 17 RBI.
In his absence, the Yankees acquired veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin who has been very solid since joining the club (.333 AVG, .481 OBP), but the rest of the starting outfield has really struggled. Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman have really cooled off over the past couple weeks, especially Tauchman who’s batting average is now down to .176 on the year. He did hit a clutch two-run home run on Sunday to snap out of a 4-41 funk, but that doesn’t erase the fact that he shouldn’t be an everyday player for this Yankee team moving forward.
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As for Gardner, he’s played much more than the Yankees were planning on through the first month-plus but he’s had to because of all the injuries to the starting outfield. Gardy has hit five home runs and driven in 12 on the season but he’s 4 for his last 34 and he’s hitting .212. With Frazier returning the Yankees can start to ease up on his workload especially with Aaron Hicks not too far away from returning himself.
That being said until Hicks comes back Gardy will continue to be the primary center fielder while Tacuhman’s playing time will see the biggest decrease in the coming weeks. Maybin’s hot start with the Yanks probably won’t last much longer but until he cools off he should continue to be the starting right fielder.
The Yankees lineups through the first month often looked like one you’d see during a split-squad spring training game but that’s no longer the case. Even though they’re still weeks away from getting Didi, Stanton, and Judge all back their lineup is extremely deep and dangerous again with Miggy and Frazier back in the fold.