Yankees: Corey Kluber is not worried about loud contact allowed early on in batting practice

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees’ top five in the rotation are set, with Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo German. However, the last four haven’t pitched much in the last couple of years because of injuries.

Kluber has been allowing loud contact early on in spring training’s live batting practice against his Yankees’ teammates, but according to the pitcher, there is nothing to worry: he is exactly where he needs to be.

Kluber tested his stuff for two innings of batting practice, and pitched to talented Yankees hitters such as Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit.

“My goal is to hit the ground running on Opening Day,” Kluber said to MLB.com. “It’s no secret that I probably haven’t been at my best early on in the season previously in my career; not that I want to be OK with that. I’m always trying to tweak what I need to feel like it will have been better prepared from the get-go. Every game is important.”

The Yankees are giving him a pass

Voit homered off Kluber, and LeMahieu hit the ball really hard. But it’s still very early in the spring, and those are extremely talented hitters. Manager Aaron Boone is also willing to give Kluber a pass, and rightly so.

“I feel really good about his progress,” Boone said. “I thought he finished better than he started, and I think the stuff is overall pretty crisp. I’m encouraged where he’s at. We’re sitting here in February, and we’ve got essentially a stud pitcher ramping up for a season.”

Kluber was particularly impressed with Judge. “There’s not many people in the game as big or as strong,” the pitcher said. “It’s definitely a different look for a pitcher.”

The Yankees signed Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal on January 27, as the right-hander, who has been brilliant when healthy, tries to re-establish his value and test the market after the 2021 World Series.

Yankees’ Gleyber Torres responds to GM Brian Cashman’s ‘out of shape’ comment

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees are rolling into the 2021 season with Gleyber Torres as their expected starting shortstop, despite general manager Brian Cashman indicating that he is, in fact, a better second baseman. The Yankees retained DJ LeMahieu on a long-term deal, which will leave Torres at SS and LeMahieu 2B.

The question remains, can Torres be the long-term solution there or will they have to allocate resources during a flush-SS market in 2022. Best case scenario, Torres locks down the position and takes a massive defensive jump, which is entirely possible, considering how far Clint Frazier has come defensively in the outfield, it is not crazy to think that Torres can do the same.

The Yankees are expecting more out of Torres at SS:

Torres is confident he’s entering the 2021 season with a far better mindset and is physically prepared. He has flipped the page on the 2020 season, where he struggled offensively and failed to make routine plays at shortstop. While he does inflict damage with his bat, if he can’t hold down the most important defensive position in the infield, the Yankees will be in trouble moving forward.

“I didn’t feel like 100% when I went into the short season but the past is the past,” Torres said on a video call with reporters on Friday. “I’ve passed the page. I just prepare myself right now and I just try to get ready and just play and help my team.”

Torres also gave his reasoning for struggling last year, and it is justifiable given the circumstances of a reconstructed season and spring training that was cut significantly short.

“I didn’t feel well in the first half of the season because of covid and things like that, but after my injury I felt [good] and I fixed little things that I didn’t fix in the first half of the season,” Torres said.

Several months ago, Cashman told the YES Network that Gleyber “wasn’t in the best shape” once the revised season began.

“I think he can do both. I think he’s a better second baseman than shortstop,” Cashman said. “I think that he can play shortstop. I think that ultimately he struggled in the beginning of the pandemic 60-game season because after spring training one shut down into spring training two, he did not, and I’m not playing the blame game, but he wasn’t in the best shape to start the second spring training, so upon his return from the shutdown, we spent a little bit of the first half playing catch-up. Maybe it was the first 40 or 45 games of the season playing catch-up.

Cashman didn’t necessarily need to add that Torres is a better second baseman, demoralizing his spirits and all the work he’s put in toward improving his skill set. Torres didn’t seem to be phased, responding to the criticism with ease.

“The past is the past. … I can’t control what people say,” Torres said. He also mentnioned he doesn’t think the comment needs to be addressed.

Torres did struggle at SS regardless of Brian’s comments — he finished with a .933 fielding percentage at the position when the league average is 973. He needs to take a big step forward this spring if he wants to cement his position on the team.

Yankees News: Brett Gardner indicates 2021 could be his last season

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

There was a split second where the New York Yankees parting ways with Brett Gardner was a possibility, but of course, the veteran outfielder and his career club found a way to re-connect. Last week, the Yankees officially signed Gardner back on a one-year deal with a club option for 2022.

At 37 years old, Gardner will likely impact the team as a depth player, as skipper Aaron Boone has already stated that Clint Frazier will likely start in left field this season. While Gardy has a hard time believing he won’t be playing every day anymore, he will fight for reps regardless.

During the off-season, Brett waited patiently for the Yankees to offer him a new deal, but he was open to the idea of exploring free agency, despite the fact that he preferred to return to the Bronx.

“I wouldn’t say [I did] a lot of exploring,’’ Gardner said of his free agency. “Obviously, it took a long time for things to work out, but I was hopeful the whole time. I’ve never been shy about wanting to finish my career here. I was asked from the get-go to be patient and I was patient.”

Clearly, things worked out in his favor, as Gardner will earn $5.15 million for the 2021 season, a bit less than the $10 million he would’ve earned if the Yankees picked up his option for this year.

When Gardy was asked about his new two-year deal, and if it could be his last, he responded with:

“I’d say that’s pretty safe,” Gardner said.

“We’ve been talking about this for the last two to three years,” Gardner said of the end of his career. “I’ll obviously be 38 in August. There are no guarantees. You never know what’s around the corner, never know what to expect.”

If Gardy was to retire today, he will have played 13 straight years for the Yankees, with his inception coming in 2008. He has proven to be an elite defender and a consistent base runner, utilizing his speed. We hope Gardner has never been a slugger, he had a career-high 28 HRs in 2019.

Finishing his career in pinstripes has always been his dream, and it seems like it will come true sooner rather than later.

New York Yankees: Torres wants to forget last season, Kluber is where he needs to be and more

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankee’s shortstop Gleyber Torres is looking to have as many home runs as in 2019 or more. Torres led the Yankees with 38 home runs in 2019, but 2020 was disappointing for the young shortstop. He hit only three long balls and had an average of just .243, down more than 30 points from the previous season. During this offseason manager, Aaron Boone said Torres was not in shape he should be at the beginning of the season. His performance was lacking in the first part of the season, but he showed improvement when he came back from the IL in his last 18 games.

Now with spring training in full swing, Torres is healthy, strong, and ready to go.

“I still feel [I have] power,’’ Torres said. “I don’t know why I didn’t hit too many homers last year. I’m trying to get stronger and [have more] agility. We’ll see this year if I have the same or more homers than ’19.”

In 2020 Torres struggled mightily both as a shortstop and behind the plate, but he has worked extensively with bench coach Carlos Mendoza on his play at short.

“Look, everybody knows how difficult last year was, especially when we got shut down,’’ said Mendoza, who has worked extensively with Torres at short. “It was so hard to get ready and we didn’t know when we were coming back. Brian made his comments and [Torres] kept saying he felt fine. … This year, he looks really good.”

When he was asked about Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million contract with the San Diego Padres, and if it was a motivation for him, he said, of course, everyone wants to make a lot of money.

Corey Kluber is feeling fine and is in a good place

Corey Kluber is healthy and has taken to the mound a few times in the 2021 spring training. Kluber had some bad luck being hit by a comebacker in 2019 and suffering a shoulder injury in the first inning he pitched for the Texas Rangers. But that is all behind him now that he is with the New York Yankees, and he is performing well in spring training.

Kluber is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and, when healthy, is an ace capable starter for any team. Friday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, the right-hander pitched two innings to Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit. Manager Boone, who observed the pitcher tossing, said:

“I feel really good about his progress,” Boone said. “I thought he finished better than he started, and I think the stuff is overall pretty crisp. I’m encouraged where he’s at. We’re sitting here in February, and we’ve got essentially a stud pitcher ramping up for a season.”

Kluber said there is no reason to worry; I am right where I want to be for this time of the season.

“My goal is to hit the ground running on Opening Day,” Kluber said. “It’s no secret that I probably haven’t been at my best early on in the season previously in my career; not that I want to be OK with that. I’m always trying to tweak what I need to feel like it will have been better prepared from the get-go. Every game is important.”

Jameson Taillon will be innings vigilant

The newly added pitcher for the New York Yankees is Jameson Taillon, who was traded for from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery and is feeling fine, but he talked about pitching 120 to 150 innings as a goal this season. He said that as spring training progresses, he is open to talking about that.

“We haven’t talked about any given number, but we have talked about communicating and staying vigilant,” Taillon said. “I’m ready to be honest and open about that. I’m sure as Spring Training gets on, we’ll communicate about some sort of rough idea that we have. Right now, I’m feeling really good.”

What to expect this Sunday

This Sunday will be the first exhibition game of spring training. It will be against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Yankees training camp in St. Petersburg, Florida, this Sunday at 1:05 pm. Michael King will be projected to start for the Yankees. Manager Aaron Boone has said it will be a seven-inning affair and indicated the first few games would also be limited to seven innings.

The New York Yankees game will be televised on the YES Network, as will most of the Yankees’ home games in spring training. It’s a shorter Spring Training with modified rules. Specifically, the Yanks will only play the Blue Jays, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, and Tigers. This is for COVID-19 travel-related reasons excluding Florida east coast games. 14 games will be at home and 14 away. The YES Network will carry 14 of those games. MLB Network will carry the opening game on Sunday as well as 13 others. Fox and NBC will carry a few of the games.

 

 

 

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Brett Gardner accepts his new role with the Yankees

After eleven years in the majors with the New York Yankees, Brett Gardner had one of his best seasons with the team in 2019.  He is already the veteran heart and soul of the New York Yankees. For those that think Brett is washed up, he had an above-average season. In 2019 he had 123 hits and 74 runs batted in, his third-best RBI record with the Yankees. He also hit a career-high 28 home runs, making him a power threat. Gardner was clutch in many of his hits. His speed on the bases and in the field was as good as ever.

Fast forward to the 2020 season. Brett’s performance dropped off considerably, as it happened with many players during the shortened coronavirus season. One difference was that it was the last year of his contract, and the New York Yankees would have to decide whether to exercise his $10 million option for the 2021 season. They did not and bought him out for $2.5 million, making him a free agent.

Gardner always said he wanted to come back to the Yankees and retire as a Yankee. After no fans in the stands, Gardner wanted to play another season so his family could see him play again. As the offseason lingered, no offer came from the Yankees. Gardner had to decide whether to investigate other interested teams or if he should retire. Gardner held fast to the idea he could return to the Yankees. Just before spring training, he got an offer from the Yankees that he accepted. After all, he is the defacto captain of the New York Yankees.

In the deal, Gardner gets a $1 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of approval by the commissioner’s office and a $1.85 million salary this year. His agreement includes a $2.3 million player option for 2022. If Gardner declines the option, the Yankees would have a $7.15 million option for 2022 with a $1.15 million buyout, making his 2021 contract worth $4 million.

At spring training at the George M. Steinbrenner training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, Gardner is happy as a lark and excited to contribute to the 2021 season. However, this season will be like no other; he will not be in the starting lineup but playing from the bench. Clint Fraziers excellent play last season took his everyday outfield job away and threatened his return to the team.  He is happy for Frazier, but he holds no hard feelings:

“Whatever the team needs me to do to help on a daily basis, I’ll be ready. Whatever my role is, I accept it.”

For newer New York Yankees fans, let’s get to know Brett Gardner and what brought him to this 14th year with the Yankees. On a farm in Holly Hill, South Carolina a boy was born to Jerry and Faye Gardner on August 24, 1983. That son was Brett Gardner. Brett grew up on that farm in the shadow of his Dad, a minor league baseball player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. So it was natural that Brett would play baseball for the local American Legion post and also play the game when he attended Holly Hill Academy. When he attended the College of Charleston in 2001, he decided to try out for their baseball team as a walk-on.

He ended up playing 3 years as a starter for the team. In his senior year, he batted .447, tied for the most hits in all of college baseball with 122, established a Cougars record with 85 runs scored, and led the Southern Conference with 38 stolen bases. After his senior year, the Yankees selected Brett in the third round of the draft.

From 2005 to 2006, he played for the New York Penn League and Florida State League. In 2007 he played for the Trenton Thunder; he broke a bone
in his hand but still managed to hit five triples and batted .300 with a
.392 OBP, before being promoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Yankees. On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut, batting leadoff and going 0-for-3 with a stolen base.

On September 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run of Major League Baseball in old Yankee Stadium history as a pinch-runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robinson Canó in the seventh inning of an eventual 7–3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles.

Brett has spent most of his career in the left outfield and as a leadoff
batter due to his speed and ability to steal bases. When Curtis Granderson
suffered an injury in 2013, Brett moved to the center-field where he continued to excel. Although Brett will never be under consideration for the Hall of Fame, he has certainly excelled with the Yankees winning the Fielding Bible Award in 2010, 2011, and 2017. He was an All-Star in 2015, was AL Stolen base leader in 2011, AL triples leader in 2013, Gold Glove winner in 2016, and earned a World Series Champ ring in 2009.

Brett’s stats have been declining a bit in the last few years as he ages but is still the heart and soul of the New York Yankees. When Brett steps to the plate, he is going to run up pitches for whoever is pitching. He is the most disciplined Yankee at the plate, making contact on 93% of his swings. No player has played harder than Brett, and that continues to this day.

In 2019 he was instrumental in holding the New York Yankees injury-riddled and ragtag team together just by his presence and work ethic, teaching many minor leaguers playing for the first time in the stadium, what it means to be a Yankee, and inspiring them to play to their
best abilities. His efforts and that of all of the Yankees won them 103 games and a trip to the postseason. He was one of only two players that did not go on the IL.

During the offseason, the New York Yankees signed Brett to a one-year contract with a team option for the 2021 season. Brett, not having to worry about a long 162 game season, may go full strength from the start and have another excellent season for the Yankees. Strength was not an issue, but his hitting was; he finished the season playing in all but eleven games. He batted only .228 with five home runs, putting his return to the team in question.

Brett spends the offseason away from New York near his Dad’s 2,600-acre farm. Brett recently talked about spending the shutdown time helping out his Dad. Brett and his wife live in Summerville, South Carolina. Brett and his wife Jessica have two boys, Abraham, born in 2008, and Peter, born in 2010. At age 37, his playing years may be coming to an end, but he will always be remembered as a guy who put everything he had into every game.

Veteran non-roster pitcher impressed Yankees’ manager after throwing live batting practice

Jhoulys Chacin, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees’ rotation looks set as of right now: Gerrit Cole will be the ace, new incorporations Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon will follow him, and Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German will likely fill it out. However, depth is very important, and while the group is talented, it can also be considered injury-prone.

That’s why guys like Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Mike King are crucial to the Yankees, and that’s why they need at least one of Jhoulys Chacin and Asher Wojciechowski, cheap guys with no roster guarantees, stand out in camp.

On January 7, the Yankees signed Chacin, an experienced right-handed pitcher who has started and relieved over the course of his major league career, to a minor league contract with a spring invitation.

So far, and according to several media outlets covering the Yankees in Florida, Chacin has been able to leave a good impression.

Could the Yankees get something out of Chacin?

Chacin had a short stint with the Atlanta Braves last season and allowed four runs in five innings. In 2019, he was battered, finishing with a 6.01 ERA in 103.1 frames with two clubs. He has a lot to prove and much work to do if he wants to make the Yankees’ roster. He did have a 3.50 ERA and won 15 games in 2018.

“When I talk about the depth we’ve created, he’s part of it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Chacin on Thursday, per NJ Advance Media. “If he’s in our rotation or has a spot on our staff, you feel good about it.”

Boone praised Chacin after throwing live batting practice to Yankees’ hitters.

“I thought he was sharp,” Boone said. “I thought he worked his fastball well to both sides of the plate. He had good sinking action and threw some good breaking balls. He had a backdoor to a lefty. He’s going to be naturally tough on righties with his two-seam fastball and his slider mix. Those are two pitches that he’s very comfortable with.”

New York Yankees: Finally, some positive Domingo German news

New York Yankees, Domingo German

The major headlines recently had been focusing on New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German and his apology following an 81 game suspension due to a domestic violence case. With new details emerging that his girlfriend had to lock herself in a room to avoid the aggressive German, some even demanded that he be released from the team. Some players express their disdain for the starter, while others came to his defense.

The past few weeks have been interesting, but all German can do is work hard and show that he is a changed man. Based on everything that manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman have said, German has done the work to abolish his aggression and past actions, but he is skating on thin ice, according to Luke Voit.

However, German finally turned the page on Thursday, putting together a solid day on the mound. He faced live batters for the first time this week, and he looked solid in the 20 pitch sample size.

“He mixed his pitches and was under control,’’ the manager said of German, who hasn’t appeared in a game outside in the most recent winter league in the Dominican Republic since being suspended in September 2019 for violating MLB’s domestic violence protocols.

German participated in the Dominican Republic Winter League recently, struggling to maintain his form and get back on track. It is also fair to mention that he didn’t have Yankee coaches and fellow teammates around him to motivate him and spur his best self.

Boone was sure to mention that German impressed on Thursday, as the Yankees know what he’s capable of doing on the mound.

“It was a good day for him,’’ Boone said.

At 28 years old, German is more than a year removed from playing in his last live game. The last time he stepped on a major league mound was in 2019, when he recorded a 4.03 ERA over 143 innings. That season proved that he had a bright future, but the suspension significantly dampened the mood and his developmental progress.

Winning 18 games two years ago was a big step, but the expectation is that he could lock down the 5th spot in the starting rotation, especially if he keeps performing well in spring training. With the Yankees preparing for live-action on Sunday, expect to see German featured next week at some point.

Yankees name their starter for Spring Training’s first game

New York Yankees, Michael King

The New York Yankees are already stretching, running, batting, and throwing in their spring training complex, getting ready for another shot at their 28th title. The club is eager to end a drought that has lasted more than a decade, and everybody is taking the 2021 season with a huge sense of responsibility.

Live games are about to start over the weekend, and the Yankees have already named their ‘spring training opening day’ starter, so to speak. And Aaron Boone’s selection is an interesting name that it fighting for a roster spot and for a chance to show some changes he has been working on for months.

Yankees right-hander Michael King, according to MLB.com’s beat writer Bryan Hoch, will start for the club’s Grapefruit League opener against the Blue Jays on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The announcement, obviously, was made by Boone.

The Yankees are hoping for an improved King

Hoch had recently written that King “benefited from his time at the Yankees’ alternate training site this past summer, where he huddled with pitching coordinator Sam Briend to refine the axis of his changeup, giving it a different profile than his fastball. The right-hander saw results in the AL Division Series, retiring all six Rays he faced in a Game 3 relief appearance.”

Per Hoch, “King has also changed his slider into a curveball, tinkering with improvements that he believes will help him secure a rotation spot in 2021.”

The right-hander took part in nine games, four of them starts, for the Yankees in 2020. He didn’t fare well, with a 7.76 ERA.

“I’ve been feeling great,” King said. “I took a little different approach this offseason and threw a lot more live BP. I got down to Tampa earlier than I normally would. I was lucky to have [Aaron] Judge, [Mike] Ford and [Gary] Sánchez to throw to. Luckily I’m not facing guys like that this season, but it was awesome for me.”

Yankees’ Brett Gardner fires back at the idea of Clint Frazier stealing his starting position

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees added several outfielders to the mix this off-season, but the expectation is that they will roll with Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner, two familiar faces. Adding Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich to compete during spring training indicated that the Yankees might have moved on from Gardner, but they recently signed him to a two-year deal with a club option for 2022.

Gardner has been an Iron Man for the Yankees over the course of his career, providing consistency and a healthy defender. Despite struggling in 2020 offensively, hosting a .223 average, he is an elite defender who can supplement injuries and offer value on an everyday basis. However, Gardy is under the impression that he will be competing for a starting job, while skipper Aaron Boone has indicated otherwise.

“I expect Clint to be our left fielder and to be in that starting lineup. … Obviously, a guy like Gardy is a guy that would play a lot, as do a lot of our guys that will, quote unquote, be bench players or whatever,” Boone said. “But Clint is going to be a regular player for us going into the season.”

It seems as if Boone and Gardy are on different pages, as the veteran outfielder is under the assumption that he will compete for a starting gig.

“I’m planning on playing every day,” he said. “Obviously, that’s not realistic. I know that’s not going to happen.

The Yankees might bring out the beast in Gardy:

Brett isn’t going to let Frazier walk into the sunset with his starting job, even if he knows the likelihood of him playing every day is low. That hasn’t deterred the veteran from playing like he’s 30 years old, despite the fact that he’s currently 37 and six months away from being 38.

“I’ll be ready and prepared,” Gardner said. “I love playing. I’ve never been shy about that. So I do love playing every day. … If (Boone) had told me I was going to play 162 (games), I would sign up for it. But I realized that’s not my role going into it. But I also have been around long enough how quickly roles can change. So, again, just get my work in down here in the spring and be ready for April 1.”

Gardner is making a good chunk of change this season to be a backup, specifically 5.15 million. A pretty good deal for a player who might have to play 50% of the time or less.

Nonetheless, the changing of the guards is an exciting prospect, and hopefully, Clint can lock it down for the foreseeable future after displaying much-improved defense in 2021.

New York Yankees News: Aaron Hicks on Tiger Woods, Clint Frazier on Clint Frazier, and more

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees centerfielder, Aaron Hick’s girlfriend, is Cheyenne Woods, the niece of golf superstar Tiger Woods. Woods was in a horrible rollover car accident in California Tuesday morning. The 45-year-old golfer was nearly killed; only his seatbelt likely saved his life. The car hit a curb tumbled off a Golden State roadway. Wood suffered several severe lower leg fractures but is expected to recover.

“I think right now, we’re trying to make sure with everything that’s going on with the surgeries and stuff, that he’s just gonna be healthy again,” the Yankees center fielder said Thursday. “Making sure he can be a father again and being able to enjoy and run around and play with his kids is what’s important right now.”

Doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center described Woods’ “significant orthopedic injuries” in a statement released after his emergency surgery on Tuesday. He faces a long road to recovery that includes lengthy physical therapy and more operations on his shattered leg, medical experts have said. Whether Wood ever returns to pro golf is unknown, but after suffering multiple back surgeries and returning to win the Masters, if anyone can come back, it is Tiger Woods.

Hicks, who grew up playing golf in Southern California chasing some of Tiger Woods’ youth records, finished sixth in the celebrity division of last month’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Cheyenne Woods caddied for Hicks during the tournament. That is the only time HIcks has actually met Woods.  Other than baseball, Hick’s second love is the game of golf.

Clint Frazier’s is showing off his electric bat

Clint Frazier’s excellent play has continued into the 2021 spring training in Tampa, Florida. Frazier was a five-tool prospect but has not been given the MLB level opportunity to put together a full season. In 2021, nothing is blocking his way.

Frazier has always had a quick hot bat behind the plate, but his sub-par defense had always held him back from being the New York Yankee star that he could be, but all that changed in 2020 when the young man made an amazing transformation into a Gold Glove-like outfielder. The young star made it into the Gold Glove nominees gaining him a permanent place in the Yankee lineup.

If Frazier can show his numbers from 2020 across a full 2021 season, don’t be surprised if he’s named an All-Star. And don’t forget, assuming the Yankees’ lineup is fully healthy to begin the year, he should be in a much better position to produce since his numbers last year largely came when the roster wasn’t at full strength. If spring training is any indication, he seems on that route.

“I try not to think that I’m going to come into the season and just hit 60 home runs because of the way the offseason went,” Frazier said. “I think for me, the thing that I’m most excited about is the possibility to get a full season of at-bats. Really just to see kind of what I’m capable of because I do in my mind have expectations that I’d like to see come to fruition and the game is hard. It’s a lot harder, I feel like, playing in New York. But I feel like the last couple of years have prepared me for what it’s like to have highs and what it’s like to have lows and really how to find that happy medium to just go about my business the right way.”

The Yankees need Stanton to be Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton is a controversial Yankee player that had never lived up to the expectations of his 2017 season when he was the baseball NL MVP with the Miami Marlins. The Yankees gave him a mammoth contract which still has seven years to expiration. But the fact is other than 2018, and he has not performed for the Yankees; he has had two injury-riddled seasons that have dramatically affected his play.

But for the 31-year-old once superstar, there is still hope. Last season due to injuries, he played in only 18 regular-season games. But he came back to play in the New York Yankees playoffs against the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays. He was healthy and showed off what he can do when healthy. He hit six home runs in the seven postseason games while batting .302 and driving in 13 runs. If Stanton can stay healthy and come anywhere near close to the production in 2021, he will be the Yankee superstar that fans always thought he could be.