There are a lot of “things” this New York Yankees team lacks at the moment. And we really don’t want to go down the list.
One aspect of their floundering play that’s perhaps the most imperative to improve is the defense. If the Yankees aren’t scoring runs, they cannot afford to be making errors or letting the opposition take free bases. And it’s been happening all too often.
For some reason, manager Aaron Boone and the rest of the organization opts against punishing players (except for Clint Frazier) when it comes to lackluster play.
And Sunday’s performance against the Tampa Bay Rays further solidified that another member of the outfield needs to be disciplined. It’s time for Aaron Hicks to take a seat on the bench. His struggles on offense are one thing, but his defensive effort is downright unacceptable.
Let Mike Tauchman get some reps in center field. He’s a true lefty hitter, which could help the Bombers in balancing the lineup, and his defense and baserunning are the strongest aspects of his game.
At this point, it cannot get any worse offensively or defensively than Hicks, and he needs to understand that there will be consequences if such lapses continue.
The Yankees need Mike Tauchman in Aaron Hicks’ place.
Mike Ford is back up with the team, so there’s no need for use Tauchman at first base. The Yankees do not need to keep moving players off their natural positions in order to make this starting lineup work.
The fact of the matter is that Hicks has been a negative dWAR player (-0.9) and has been good for -17 Defensive Runs Saved since the start of 2018. Prior to 2018, he was just fine. In fact, he was good! But Something’s happened. And we don’t know what it is. So a change needs to be made, at least on a part-time basis.
We’re not calling for his permanent benching, but he’s certainly not a player who has unquestionably earned his keep. He’s hit .238 with a .737 OPS since arriving in New York and has a 0.8 dWAR and 3 DRS. It’s all far from spectacular.
The luxury of having Tauchman stems from his above-average defensive play/versatility, his left-handed bat, and his acute awareness on the base paths. Yes, his 2020 was as discouraging as they come, but wasn’t it for most of these players? And hasn’t 2021 been even worse?
Boone needs to shake things up because this cannot persist any longer. There’s absolutely no harm in trying out new looks. It’s truly the least he could do.