Aaron Hicks said his surgically repaired right elbow isn’t yet 100%.
He also knows that’s probably not going to be the case until 2021. Most important, he said the elbow is good enough for him to be in centerfield on an everyday basis when the season starts.
“From what I hear, it takes a while to be completely 100%,” said Hicks, who had Tommy John surgery last October. “But I feel really good right now. I feel game-ready right now to be able to compete and be able to consistently be out there in the outfield to play good defense and try to help my team win.”
Hicks spoke after the Yankees went through their first full-squad workout of Spring Training II at the Stadium. The Yankees are slated to open the 60-game season on July 23 in Washington against the defending champion Nationals.
Hicks expects to be in center that night at Nationals Park, but at times his elbow and arm do not feel as strong as they did before the injury.
“I’m looking for more, being able to throw the ball at more velocity,” said Hicks, who signed a seven-year, $70-million contract extension early in spring training 2019. “Right now it's just kind of . . . some [throws] come out, some don’t. It’s just inconsistent with throwing. With throwing, [usually] you don't kind of have to worry about it, it always comes out the same. Coming back from Tommy John, there's days where it just doesn't come out. You try to throw as hard as you can and throw to a certain speed, and it's just not coming out. But from what I hear, that is pretty normal throughout the process.”
Hicks , who is Black, has paid close attention to the surge in protests against police brutality and racial injustice that have occurred nationwide for the better part of the last month. And he wants to be more involved.
“It kind of becomes a thing where I feel like it’s a strong movement right now that I definitely want to be a part of because this is something that's been going on throughout my life, Black people’s lives in general, and it’s been kind of going on unnoticed,” Hicks said. “So it's something that I want to be a part of. I've already started to do different things like trying to wear more Black clothing, eat at more Black restaurants, just being more out there in the community to trying to help Black people out in general.”