Though Clint Frazier continues to hit in the minors, Aaron Boone clearly stated his position Wednesday.
Aaron Hicks, a frequent target of Yankees’ fans for his inconsistent performance at the plate, isn’t going anywhere.
“[He’s] a real centerfielder who can legitimately play centerfield,” said Boone, also citing Hicks’ on-base percentage (.339), even when the hits aren’t falling.
Left unsaid was that the Yankees don’t see Frazier as a true centerfielder, an opinion shared by many opposing team talent evaluators. Frazier, who is 13-for-41 (.317) with two homers and two doubles in 10 games since being sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, has played some center, and continues to play some in the minors, but defensively is not considered in the same class as Hicks. The switch-hitting Hicks, who led off Wednesday with the Astros starting lefthander Dallas Keuchel, went 1-for-3 with a walk and is slashing .232/.339/.406 with five homers and 20 RBIs.
“[Hicks] has power and in a lot of ways is still a young player developing and been highly productive,” Boone said. “As has Clint, continuing to grow and continuing to establish himself as a big part of our future. But Aaron’s a really good player for us that gets on and plays a premium defensive position. You can’t just fire anyone out in centerfield.”
n Austin in
Tyler Austin saw his first action since Greg Bird was activated Saturday, getting the start at first base against Keuchel.
“We feel like it’s a matchup that hopefully we can take advantage of,” Boone said.
Austin went 0-for-4 and is hitting .222 with eight homers and a .780 OPS. Still, with Bird back, getting Austin playing time will be a challenge.
“I think there are spots,” Boone said.
n Double dip
Boone said Luis Severino would start a game in Monday’s makeup doubleheader in Detroit. Boone said the club has not settled on the othr starter.