The New York Yankees have a current need in the outfield, where Aaron Judge is currently out with COVID-19 and other players have failed to lock down consistent playing time. Greg Allen is trying to make a strong impression and earn more at-bats, and he is off to a good start.
An emergency call-up after the Yankees announced six COVID-19 cases and Luke Voitâ€™s new injury, Allen was summoned to play in the Red Sox series and did just fine: he helped by going 3-for-6 with a double, walk, stolen base and RBI over the weekend against Boston.
He is not a slugger. To the contrary, he uses his contact skills, speed, and defense to make an impression, and he hopes he can earn an opportunity with the Yankees after playing from 2017 to 2020 with the Cleveland Indians.
â€œHe can really defend in the outfield,â€ Yankees manager Boone said, per NJ Advance Media. â€œHe can run obviously. Heâ€™s given quality at-bats from both sides, even at-bats that havenâ€™t ended in a result necessarily. Itâ€™s a big league at-bat. Itâ€™s competitive. Itâ€™s not a lot of chase. He can help us.â€
A gritty player with speed and athleticism that can help the Yankees
Allen came to the Yankees last January, when the Bombers sent reliever James Reeves to the San Diego Padres. He was bypassed several times for a call-up, but he kept it together mentally and patiently waited for his chance.
â€œWhat you can control is what you can do today in that moment,â€ Allen said. â€œBe where your feet are and make the most of it.â€
â€œI know in talking to guys about him in Triple-A how heâ€™s been,â€ Boone said. â€œThis guy has a lot of big-league time over the last few years and heâ€™s been a pro down there. Heâ€™s been a good player down there. Heâ€™s been a good teammate down there, a guy that you can trust in a lot of situations. And thatâ€™s what heâ€™s showing so far.â€
The Yankees need him to perform and add some speed and athleticism to the outfield, a unit that is currently missing Judge, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Tim Locastro and Clint Frazier.
Allen is a career .242 hitter over 563 at-bats with eight homers and 33 steals, but at least he is making a good impression for the Yankees in the early going.
â€œLooking at my own personal skill set â€¦ anything I can do to get on base, increase traffic, play some good defense,â€ Allen said. â€œJust find ways to score runs. Thatâ€™s the name of the game. So any way I can impact the game, thatâ€™s where my focus is and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m trying to do.â€