Yankees’ struggling outfielder comes to the rescue against Dodgers

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees recently experienced what life could be like without their star player Juan Soto during a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fortunately for the team and fans alike, Soto is slated to return in the upcoming series against the Kansas City Royals.

In Soto’s absence, Trent Grisham was called upon to step up as the supplementary outfielder, despite Jasson Dominguez’s impressive performance in Triple-A. The Yankees have opted to keep Dominguez active in Triple-A to ensure he continues to get regular at-bats rather than sporadic play in the majors.

Grisham’s Unexpected Yankees Heroics

Despite facing heavy criticism and struggling with a batting average of just .083 entering Sunday’s game, Grisham found himself in a pivotal role, batting fifth in the lineup.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This strategic decision by the Yankees paid off when Grisham hit a crucial three-run homer in the sixth inning, propelling the Yankees to a 5–3 lead—a lead which they maintained for the rest of the game. Aaron Judge also added an insurance run with a 434-foot homer in the eighth, solidifying the Yankees’ victory at 6–4 and helping them avoid a series sweep.

While Grisham’s overall numbers remain modest at .100/.258/.280, his pivotal home run against the Dodgers highlighted his potential to contribute significantly when needed. This performance underscored the utility of having a depth player like Grisham, who, despite his past as a primary starter for the San Diego Padres, now finds a different role with the Yankees.

As Soto prepares to rejoin the lineup, Grisham will revert to his role as a depth outfielder, a position he has been adapting to after being the primary centerfield starter in previous seasons. While his batting averages have declined, Grisham continues to be an above-average defender. The Yankees recognize his defensive contributions, even as his offensive output has not matched expectations.

Looking forward, the Yankees are focused on securing a long-term extension for Soto and integrating Dominguez into left field to eventually take over for Alex Verdugo. Grisham, set to enter free agency in 2026, will likely continue in a backup role, although his future preferences might lean towards seeking a more substantial contract elsewhere if he wishes to reclaim a starting position.

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