After now winning seven of their last eight series with quite the injury-depleted roster, the Yankees will receive a nice boost Monday night off the Injured List in Aaron Hicks.
Hicks, 29, had been rehabbing in Single-A and Triple-A after being sidelined since March with back discomfort. Now, he will join a lineup that has been absent of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, although surprisingly still productive. Their 57 team home runs are good for 4th in the American League.
As for Hicks, he’s emerged as one of the best center fielders in baseball in recent years. He slashed .248/.366/.467 with 27 home runs and a 127 wRC+ in 2018 along with owning the 2nd-highest fWAR (4.9) among AL center fielders. The No. 1 spot being held by Mike Trout, of course.
With Hicks set to be activated Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles, here’s how their somewhat filled out lineup could stack up:
- DJ LeMahieu 2B
- Luke Voit 1B
- Aaron Hicks CF (S)
- Gary Sanchez C
- Clint Frazier RF
- Gleyber Torres SS
- Gio Urshela 3B
- Miguel Andujar DH*
- Brett Gardner/Cameron Maybin LF (L/R)
*Awaiting the corresponding move for Aaron Hicks. Could possibly be sent down.
Of course, the benefits of Hicks’ return don’t need to be restated, but his ability to provide balance in the Yankee lineup as a switch-hitter cannot be said enough. In Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bomber lineup consisted of just one lefty bat in Mike Tauchman — who isn’t even a regular. Now, with both Hicks and, as usual, Gardner in the lineup every day, the Yankees will certainly be a little less right-handed heavy.