The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected baseball, and the New York Yankees are no exception to that reality. Playing in the Bronx has forced them to reevaluate the regular season plans, and while Governor Andrew Cuomo is keen on bringing sports back to the city without fans, the likelihood of that happening is small.
Baseball could start-up in early July in an alternative location, possibly Arizona, where there’s a lower risk and probability of contracting the virus.
While the virus shut down baseball operations, the Yankees have used this time to heal and focus on the recovery of the outfield. Starting players Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton were all scheduled to miss Opening Day and more.
Now, the Yankees are confident Hicks will be back to full strength if the league starts up in the next few weeks, and Stanton is also ready to join the active roster. Judge is the only player on the fence as he heals from a stress fracture in a rib. Nonetheless, Clint Frazier might be the least lucky of the Yankees depth players. He was set to open the season as a starting option in the outfield, but with the return of several players, Brett Gardner will likely receive the nod ahead of Frazier.
The New York Yankees still like Clint Frazier, but he’s running out of time:
Frazier has a ton of potential at the plate, and his bat is still one of the quickest in the league, but his struggles mainly lie in his defense. After his concussion, Frazier never looked the same, and he may resort to a DH role, but with Stanton and Gary Sanchez, it is possible they donâ€™t have a spot for him in the future. If the MLB and union can develop a foundation for a revised regular season, Frazier could be a part of the five extra players on a 30-man roster.
Financials are still being negotiated among the team owners and players, with players refusing a revenue share option. While Frazier could benefit from an expanded roster, it is unlikely he sees live reps unless another injury occurs. After a tough defensive outing in 2019, Frazier seemed to mature this off-season and started Grapefruit League play on a high note.
Frazier finished spring training with 25 at-bats, hitting .320 with one home run, two RBIs, and seven walks. He struck out only four times. If he can build off this minor success, he could be the next man up if Stanton rotated into a DH role to mitigate fatigue and injury.