Monday, August 7, 2017


(June 8, 2017 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)
With a big assist from Abe Almonte, a former Yankee outfield prospect who misplayed a Jacoby Ellsbury fly ball, the Bombers managed to score eight runs against the Indians Sunday in their series-tying finale. That's as many runs as they've scored in their prior five games combined.

But while Ells' three-run gift from Almonte was charitably scored a triple, Torreyes and Judge were the only others who managed to hit a ball safely with runners in scoring position (including the latter's league leading 35th dinger) as the welcome scoring outburst masked a continuing issue with situational hitting and yet another  small village of base runners stranded on the base paths.

Photo: Getty Images
And while Joe may feel putting El Kraken's bat in a timeout for a couple of days was a constructive way to coach away his passed ball problem, after watching Romine go 0-for-7 and whiff four times in his place the last two games it was definitely a step in the wrong direction.

Fortunately, another batting option is about to step up to the plate.

Photo: Times Leader
After five rehab games with the Triple A RailRiders, Aaron Hicks has batted .375  with a 1.069 OPS.  He finished the team's home stand Sunday with quite the flourish, according to the Times Leader's DJ Eberle.

"Dating back to the sixth inning of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Pawtucket, when Hicks led off the inning with a single to right, the Yankees outfielder has strung together six straight plate appearances with productive results. After singling and tripling in his final two at-bats the day prior, Hicks was 2 for 3 with a double, two runs scored and a walk on Sunday. The 27-year-old’s lone out in the 7-5 win came in the fifth inning when Pawtucket right fielder Rusney Castillo robbed a home run from him."

Photo: Times Leader
The Castillo pick of Hicks' would-be dinger from above the wall  denied the Yankee outfielder the cycle in four consecutive at bats.

“Just being able to make solid contact and I feel like within all those at-bats I’ve been able to lay off pitches, which gives me a good sign that I’m seeing the ball and also being able to make solid contact,” Hicks said. “Today I felt really good on both sides of the plate. Just getting that feel back, you know? And today felt really good. Ready to go and just waiting to get those (at-bats) from both sides of the plate.”

After the game, as the team prepared to leave for Georgia for a southern road trip, Hicks announced he'd been given an off day to head to New York to "grab some clothes" before joining  the Double A Trenton Thunder on Tuesday in Hartford -- a convenient commute to the Bronx  where the Yankees will just happen to be starting their home stand against the Red Sox a few days later.

With Holliday on the DL and Headley's bat finding rejuvenated productivity in the less strenuous first baseman's role, I would expect Garrett Cooper to be heading southbound shortly and Hicks and his switch-hitting lumber joining the battle with Boston in the Bronx.

You also might as well start calling the DH the "Daily Horoscope" from now on.  No more designated anything from here on in. Joe will use it to "rest" hot regulars and get slumping . regulars "started."  Every day will be a complete surprise and good for a chuckle or a growl, depending on your particular sense of humor and tolerance for  Joe's obsessive-compulsive shenanigans.

You thought he just played binder bingo games with his bullpen? Just watch what he does with an open lineup spot now  that he has every new toy he could want from management, no excuses and his job potentially on the line.

Like everything else this wild and crazy rebuilding season, it should be fun to watch.

It's just a pity Matt won't be around to see it.

--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

1 comment:

  1. Will be head to see Hicks back. Yea, Cooper is not going to play much anyway, if the playing time of Wade is any indication. But, the one going back down, if what management has been saying is true is C.Frazier. Then probably Cooper when Bird gets back.


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