Yankees: Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier struggles standing out again
It says a lot about Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier that, amid the New York Yankees’ collectively disastrous start to the 2021 season, their struggles have stuck out as particularly egregious.
Gleyber Torres must be breathing a sigh of relief right now, but it’s unfortunately true.
At the plate, the pair has been a non-factor; Hicks is nearly hitless from the left side of the plate, and Frazier has the most consecutive plate appearances of any player this year without an RBI (somehow, Cleveland’s Josh Naylor’s first-place streak includes 30 more).
In the third inning of Sunday’s game, Hicks manufactured two runs — for the opposition.
Though Gerrit Cole picked up the pieces after Frazier’s gaffe that followed seconds later and put an additional runner in scoring position, the fact remained that he’d already allowed two unnecessary blemishes thanks to Hicks breaking back on a blooper, dropping that blooper once it landed, then dropping another rolling baseball back to the turf seconds later.
Frazier and Hicks are good, talented ball players with standout skills, both offensively and defensively. At this moment, though, both men appear to be residing within their own heads, consumed by some sort of neuroses.
Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier have been the Yankees’ worst offenders.
Frazier’s play Sunday might get lost to history thanks to Cole’s histrionics, but just like Hicks’ physical errors, it was also endemic of the Yankees’ April malaise. Why was Hicks unable to handle loopers the likes of which he’s seen 100 times? Couldn’t tell you. But why did Frazier, standing nearly at the wall, try to uncork a throw home, only to adjust mid-toss and direct it into no-man’s land? It was yet another instance in a long line that made fans feel his head was anywhere but in the game.
Cole fielded the baseball, in the bizarro version of the Jeter Flip Play. Why was he there? Who knows. Not heroic, and the pill shouldn’t have found him.
Hicks has a lot on his mind these days, and may require a longer leash while the team welcomes him back to full strength mentally. If that’s the case, though, why is he still hitting in the high-pressure third position in the order?
And could Frazier’s messiness be due in part to him finding himself on the bench the second he struggles?
Almost nobody on the Yankees — excepting Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole and the bullpen — is playing within range of their peak ability to start 2021.
Frazier and Hicks seem to be the most uncharacteristically lost, however. And based on Frazier’s reaction, additional rest doesn’t appear to be the antidote.