The New York Yankees triumphed over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon, a victory owed largely to a dazzling display by Aaron Judge. Nonetheless, the entire team made significant contributions, racking up 13 hits and scoring seven runs, with four of those occurring in extra innings.
Following Friday night’s win, in an uncommon exchange, the Yankees procured Greg Allen from the Boston Red Sox. The corresponding action involved designating Aaron Hicks for assignment, as his performance at the start of the 2023 season was underwhelming, thereby justifying his removal from the roster.
At the age of 33, Hicks had a batting average of .188 and an on-base percentage (OBP) of .263. Although he was beginning to show signs of improvement, the Yankees decided it was time for a new direction.
Among all potential replacements for Hicks, it was least expected that Greg Allen would be his successor. After participating in a mere 46 games in the last MLB season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Allen now becomes part of a Yankees squad with ambitions of a World Series victory.
In Triple-A this year, Allen has stolen 23 bases, a performance placing him second among division batters. Indeed, Allen’s arrival was immediately felt in extra innings when he occupied second base for the Yankees.
After tagging up on a fly out to right field, Allen scored the lead-gaining run following an Aaron Judge single that hit the left-field wall.
In essence, the Yankees required more speed and agility on the bases, which Allen possesses. Moreover, he has proven to be a reliable defensive player, having spent 293.1 innings in the outfield for Pittsburgh last year, with a flawless fielding percentage, two saved defensive runs, and two outs above average.
The Yankees were in need of increased competition:
Given Aaron Hicks’s struggles both offensively and defensively this year, Allen can provide at least some depth in the outfield and create opportunities on the bases.
Despite a career walk percentage of .299, it’s important to mention that Hicks has only achieved a .263 on-base percentage this season. Meanwhile, Allen had a .407 walk percentage in the minor leagues this year, with wRC+ of 113, including a 13.9% walk rate.
Having adjusted some of his performance measures, the Yankees hope to derive value from the 30-year-old veteran.
Currently, the left field position remains open, offering Allen a chance to compete for playing time with Jake Bauers and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, both of whom have been performing increasingly well of late.