Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton’s injury has opened up a huge opportunity for Clint Frazier

Clint Frazier of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Clint Frazier of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

With Giancarlo Stanton’s status for Opening Day very much up in the air after suffering a calf strain, a big opportunity has opened up for Clint Frazier to make the Yankees 26-man roster.

Entering spring training it looked like Clint Frazier was going to be the odd man out in the Yankees outfield for the second year in a row. However, now that Giancarlo Stanton is most likely going to start the season on the IL Frazier’s odds of making the opening day roster have definitely increased.

There are a couple of players fighting for roster spots who could benefit from Stanton’s injury but nobody more so than Frazier. He was going to have a tough time beating out Mike Tauchman for a spot in the New York outfield this spring, but now there’s a good chance we could see both of them make the team.

In 2019, Frazier was stuck at Triple-A for most of the second half while Tauchman was enjoying a breakout campaign for the Yanks. There really wasn’t anything he could do at Scranton to force the Yankees to call him back up but this spring he can control his own destiny. The next month will be an audition for him to show management that he belongs in the big leagues.

So far Frazier is off to a good start…

It’s good to see Frazier swinging the bat well, but the biggest thing he needs to focus on from now until the end of camp is improving defensively. Last season was a disaster for him in the outfield and was one of the reasons why he was sent down in June and wasn’t called back up until rosters expanded in September. We know he can hit but he needs to prove that he can be an adequate defender in the outfield, otherwise, there won’t be a spot for him on the roster.

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If he can defend his position I think Frazier will have the chance to platoon with Tauchman as the starting left fielder to begin the season. Miguel Andujar could get some reps in left as well, but with Stanton out he might end up at DH until the former NL MVP returns. The lefty-hitting Mike Ford should also benefit from Stanton’s injury and if he makes the roster he could get some starts at DH as well.

Even with Stanton and Aaron Hicks both expected to begin the season on the IL Aaron Boone still has a lot of options to choose from when he pencils in his starting lineup. For a player like Clint Frazier, now is the time to put his name back in the mix.

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We don’t know how long Stanton is going to be out for so he needs to take full advantage of this opportunity. If he doesn’t we may never see him get another one in a Yankee uniform.