Yankees’ outfielder Clint Frazier says his recent decrease in playing time has been ‘justified’

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Clint Frazier
Sep 15, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) runs the bases after hitting home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Frazier has started the season with a cold streak at the plate. The New York Yankees’ left fielder took a major step forward last season, especially in the patience department, increasing his walk rate from 6.5% in 2019 to 15.6% last season. This year, it is at 17.2%, but it appears he is taking things to the extreme, embracing an approach that seems too passive at times.

Because he is slashing .146/.293/.188 with no homers and a 53 wRC+, the Yankees have been decreasing Frazier’s playing time lately. That is something the outfielder is not particularly happy about, but definitely understands.

“It’s not fun to not play but if I were to sit back and say that I deserve to be in there every single day based off what I’ve been doing at the plate, then I’d be wrong,” Frazier told the media after the Yankees lost on Sunday, per NJ Advance Media. “I think it’s justified. I haven’t given any production out there in left and if one person can’t, the next person gets the opportunity.”

The Yankees need Frazier to get going

Defensively, he has alternated excellent plays, like the diving catch in Sunday’s game, with others in which he hasn’t looked as good. And at the plate, he has managed to muster only two hits in his last 43 trips to the plate.

“I’ve been working really hard behind the scenes to get this going,” Frazier said. “I put in a lot of work during the game (Sunday) in the cage, literally went right from the batting cage into the batter’s box and I liked the results.”

The Yankees’ outfielder also said he thinks he is experiencing a “slight mechanical issue” in his swing.

“I have like 500 different batting stances, and they’ve all worked at one point in time, and the difficult part is I’ve never really settled into a stance,” Frazier said. “I’m a feel guy. The stuff that I was doing was not working. It was time for me to go back and look at the archives and see what I could do to get in my legs better and be able to get down on time. For me to be able to swing, the little hitch that I have in my swing, if it fires a little bit late then I have trouble connecting on pitches that I would normally have.”