Yankees: Clint Frazier can relax and mash after latest promotion
By Adam Weinrib
Clint Frazier should feel no pressure after the Yankees gave him what he wanted.
The New York Yankees made things official on Tuesday, seemingly making an offering to the Twitter mob that already had their minds made up before Giancarlo Stanton had left — or even entered — the MRI machine.
Clint Frazier was elevated back to the big leagues, as the team opted to showcase his whip-quick bat, rather than give Miguel Andujar’s grounded helicopter another look, which would’ve involved whiplashing him back to the Bronx after his demotion.
How much playing time Frazier will receive hasn’t been made clear yet — after all, no team needs a rotating DH slot like the Yankees, replete with more sluggers than positions, and a few hulks who could use some rest.
But if you ask Frazier, he’s ready to emerge anew. And he should be. All he’ll have to do is hit, and he’s always been plenty good at that.
Is Clint Frazier in the Yankees lineup Tuesday?
Nope. Mike Ford is. What, you thought this would be easy for him?
This time around, though, things will be different. Frazier isn’t the hot prospect, the 22-year-old arriving as the first step of the rebuild. He’s also not the dented savior, battling for an outfield slot with a seemingly endless number of more heralded options, all of whom came equipped with a glove and a reputation.
Now, Frazier has the chance to finally be defined by his best tool. He’s wanted by the entire fan base, ready to watch him succeed in a specialized role. Nobody has their vitriol packed tightly behind their tongue, waiting for him to fail. Every Yankees fan wants to see the boisterous Frazier, the lineup’s ninth man, step in and swing hard, treating every at-bat like he’s working with a longer leash.
In previous iterations, he’s always been calm in the eye of the storm. After all, when the tension is at its thickest, Frazier generally rises to the occasion.
In his far-too-short major league career, he’s well known for zeroing in on with runners in scoring position, ranking among MLB’s best in 2019 despite his roller coaster tenure. When the only challenge ahead of Frazier is putting bat on ball, he tends to lock in and find the hole at a higher rate than his competitors.
Now, it’s time to treat every at-bat in this manner.
Don’t think about the implications of each swing. Don’t allow yourself to believe your fate is sealed. Don’t mentally create the New York Daily News headlines that might arise in the mornings to come.
Whether the bases are empty or teeming with his major league teammates, Frazier just has to mash. For now, it’s his only job.