1. Aaron Hicks
When Aaron Hicks was yanked early from Friday night’s fiasco, it defused a potentially very uncomfortable situation. Hicks said all the right things to the media after the game. Aaron Boone didn’t mention Hicks’ play plainly, but stated that he felt he had to get him off the field.
Hicks then proceeded to remain on the bench for the final two games of the home series against the Rays.
The Yankees’ depth has been tested significantly over the past few weeks. But, even so, will Hicks ever play a home game for this team again? Is that a wise idea? And, if not, should the Yankees gift him a playoff roster spot, with several viable candidates on the pecking order ahead of him?
Decimated by injuries or not, the Yankees managed to roll out a competent lineup on both Saturday and Sunday, putting up 10 runs in each game without so much as a Hicks cameo. If he hasn’t lost his role yet, it’s safe to say reigniting Hicks isn’t atop the team’s wishlist as October approaches.
Once Harrison Bader completes his rehab (which will theoretically be before the Sept. 20 game against the Pirates), that will allow the Yankees to roll Bader in left, Aaron Judge in center, and master spark plug Oswaldo Cabrera in right field, a player the Yankees clearly love (and who seems unlikely to man first base, at any point, with Anthony Rizzo and DJ LeMahieu both trending upwards).
Hicks is unlikely to lose a 40-man roster spot before the offseason. But how can Aaron Boone really go back to that well, after essentially severing ties on Friday night? The Yankees have the personnel to avoid using Hicks, and they should remain dedicated to looking the other way until the 2022 campaign is over.