Already the Yankees are forced to tap into their outfield depth because of injuries, but just how should they utilize it?
Red Thunder is back and after Wednesday’s performance should be here to stay. The only thing that has been keeping the 25-year-old prospect off the diamond is surplus of talent the Yankees have. Prior to the Stanton injury, the team had six other starter-quality outfielders in their organization: Stanton, Judge, Hicks, Tauchman, Gardner, and Andújar.
Now with Giancarlo on the shelf for 3-4 weeks, it’s finally Clint’s time to prove himself. Timing has never been one of Frazier’s strong suits. He’s healthy when the team doesn’t need him and hurt when they do. Finally, things are lining up for Clint. But how long will it last? Will the team’s embarrassment of riches force Frazier back to the alternate site sooner than later? Unfortunately, that’s the way it’s looking.
When all are healthy, the starting outfield will undoubtedly be Stanton in left, Hicks in center, and Judge in right. But with Hicks and Stanton locked up long term and a mega-deal awaiting Judge in 2023, what does that mean for a player like Frazier? Who in my mind, has much more potential than a guy like Stanton.
On the other hand, with too many players talent can get lost in the mix. For the Yankees, their loyalty to Brett Gardner this season has been a detriment to the team. This offseason Cashman inked the veteran to a one-year contract worth $12.5 million. That’s money the Yankees could have spent on a backup catcher or elsewhere. Even with Stanton down, this team would have a starting outfield of Frazier, Hicks, and Judge with Tauchman and Andújar on the bench. The move made no sense then, and now we see it’s damage to the development of younger talent as well as the current roster. Gardner is hitting a cool .171 with an OBP of .261.
Aaron Boone needs to take a page out of Bill Belichick’s book. When Belichick benched Bledsoe for Brady back in 2001 he wasn’t worried about how much the player was making or how impressive his past resume had been. He was looking toward the future. And by blindly running out an aging shell of himself in place of youngsters with amazing potential is a major disservice to the organization and the fanbase alike.
Not ALL Yankees fans are stuck on the past, and it’s time for Aaron Boone to do the same.