The New York Yankees' starting left field debate is an ugly one that won't go away until somebody is performing up to standard once the regular season begins. And although there seems to be a heated competition at the moment, there's been no indication Aaron Hicks has lost his grip on the job.
That won't stop Yankees Twitter from relentlessly lobbying for an alternative. Unfortunately for those vehemently against Hicks playing baseball in the Bronx, the only way we would've maybe seen a change is if the veteran was remarkably bad during Spring Training.
In spite of being booed before he even contributed anything this spring, Hicks, through Monday's action, is hitting .385 (5-for-13) with a double and a home run in his five games of action -- raising those hands is already working wonders.
Guys like Willie Calhoun, Rafael Ortega, Jasson Dominguez and Oswaldo Cabrera are also performing quite well offensively, but there would need to be a considerable gap for general manager Brian Cashman to make a decision of that magnitude (which would feature Hicks being released or moving the $10 million AAV player to the bench).
Sadly, whether he drops a fly ball or not, the Yankees will more than likely be seeing this situation through. Translation: it will need to become untenable for something to change. The vitriol from Yankees Twitter won't influence that.
Aaron Hicks drops fly ball, Yankees Twitter loses it
Admittedly, we'd love if Hicks didn't do this. It's really not a good look after his reputation-altering 2022, where his defensive gaffes were the final straw among the fanbase.
Maybe there's a world in which the Yankees can trade him by the end of the spring and eat some money, but we wouldn't count on that, either. So any negative energy you possess is nothing but a drain. It's being channeled to nowhere.
This might hold weight if Hicks was also dismal at the plate, but one misjudged fly ball, especially when guys like Calhoun and Ortega aren't known for their defense, isn't going to be the deciding factor in the left field competition. Cabrera is certainly a better defender, but the Yankees want to use him as a utility option.
Also, do you think the Yankees aren't seeing this, too? Do you think your compilation of Hicks lowlights is going to have some low-level assistant in the front office bring this to Cashman's attention with the urgency to make a drastic move?
Everybody's frustrated about this. Nobody wants to watch Hicks botch routine plays. But unless his offensive game craters against lesser competition, the Yankees will more than likely stand their ground here.
Might as well focus that positive energy on Anthony Volpe making the Opening Day roster instead. That'd be a proper trade-off.