Yankees OF Aaron Hicks’ return from surgery could have him back on Opening Day
While Aaron Hicks’ return from a post-October Tommy John surgery was once the furthest-back concern of any New York Yankees fan, the eternal delays of 2020 Opening Day have somehow pushed the stylin’ and profilin’ bat back into the forefront.
Buried in a nebulous Aaron Judge injury update the other day that served only to further confuse us, Aaron Boone commented on Hicks’ status as well, and was plenty bullish on his return. That moment could potentially be as early as Game One if an agreement between the MLB and MLBPA is worked out by summer.
“He’s been tremendous,” GM Brian Cashman said of Hicks, while on a charity conference call this past week, spinning yarns about all the laid-up Yankees assets. Cashman also called Hicks a “legit option” for summer baseball, announcing that he had begun a throwing program, while taking dry swings.
Would you like to see a few of those swings before making your judgment? Do you trust your eyes over Brian Cashman’s words? Say no more.
Not sure what we expected from Hicks at this juncture, but it would’ve been hard to envision more in mid-May.
Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery rehab resembles the 2019 effort of Didi Gregorius.
Didi Gregorius’ surgery is the only comparable position player procedure that Yankee fans can likely recall, and his timeline for a return felt remarkably ahead of schedule. The shortstop made his way back to the lineup last June 7, but that was extremely accelerated, and Gregiorius was very un-Didi-like for the majority of the season. Fans would rather have Hicks back at full strength rather than endure a similar campaign to the one Gregorius posted, worth just 0.3 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
Barring setbacks during Hicks’ isolated workouts (and yes, based on how Yankees baseball generally goes these days, it’s going to take plenty of collective will for those setbacks to be barred), it seems fair to surmise that his summer might be more “legit” than we initially anticipated.