Yankees demote a ‘surprised’ Clint Frazier to Triple-A
Whether it happened on Sunday or Monday, Clint Frazier wasn’t long for the Yankees 25-man roster. With Giancarlo Stanton set to return to action this week and the arrival of Edwin Encarnacion, the young slugger, became expendable.
Imagine being Clint Frazier — celebrating the Yankees 10-3 victory over the White Sox on Sunday when manager Aaron Boone beckons you into his office, only to let you know you’re being demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre due to an increasing roster crunch.
According to Erik Boland of Newsday, it turns out Frazier was “surprised,” not that he was being sent down, in general, but that it was happening now, because of Encarnacion — and instead of Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge.
However, Stanton is due back on Tuesday, so does one more day on the 25-man roster really matter? Or is Frazier just disgruntled that Mike Tauchman stays in the Bronx and he doesn’t? Regardless, Tauchmann will join Frazier once Judge is activated.
"“This is the reality of things,” a somber Frazier said. “Guess I’m facing reality right now. It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s never fun, especially with how much I’ve felt like I’ve contributed to this team.”"
Either way, due to the Yankees five-man outfield, the talented 24-year-old needs to play every day, regardless of where that location is — if he is ever to straighten out his defensive game.
Slashing .283/.330/.513 with 25 runs scored, 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in 209 plate appearances, Frazier has proven thus far that he can hit major league pitching. His .375 batting average with RISP is among the AL’s best (prior to Sunday’s win).
Though it would be nice to see Frazier improve his 59:13 K:BB ratio, with only 107 big league games under his belt, he is still very much a work in progress.
While many contend that Frazier could be packaged in a trade for a reliable starting pitcher, with 20 players placed on the injured list thus far in 2019, the Yankees will need Frazier to stay ready — from both a productivity and trade value standpoint.
As manager Aaron Boone told Coley Harvey of ESPN, Frazier needs to play as much as he possibly can because he’s got a chance to be a “great player.”
"“He’s played a big role on a winning team, and that doesn’t necessarily stop now, but this is where we’re at with the roster situation,” Boone said. “So obviously tough news to deliver, but hopefully he can make the most of it and continue to get better at his craft and know that he’s going to play a role for us again.”"