Yankees can’t run from Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier problem

Were you one of many people who nervous that the Yankees’ re-signing of Brett Gardner in February would block Clint Frazier’s growth?

Don’t really feel unhealthy. I’m one of many people who praised the Yankees for signing Aaron Hicks to a seven-year, $70 million extension in 2019.

Now Hicks is sidelined with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, an ailment that would sideline him for an prolonged interval, except the middle fielder responds positively to remedy and relaxation. Such an absence, in addition to the Friday scratching of Giancarlo Stanton with left quad tightness, would depth a actuality that already existed in regards to the Yankees’ odd outfield couple of Frazier and Gardner:

They are offering the Yankees with neither a humiliation of riches nor a playing-time dilemma. To the opposite, the 26-year-old redhead and 37-year-old shaved-head have teamed to create an outfield offensive sinkhole.

“Hopefully we get both of those guys rolling for us [in] a little bit,” Aaron Boone mentioned Friday, earlier than the Yankees opened a sequence with the Orioles in Baltimore.

Frazier, beginning in left area, took a .141/.282/.283 slash line into Friday’s motion; Orioles Park at Camden Yards stands as his favourite ballpark through which to hit, providing optimism to those that search it. Gardner, beginning in middle area, spiritually matched his protege at .182/.282/.227. Hence the Yankees’ outfield, broadly considered as a energy when the crew broke camp, was not that. As per Baseball-Reference.com, the Yankees’ left fielders had mixed for a .580 OPS by means of Thursday, twelfth out of 15 within the American League, whereas their middle fielders (Hicks was at .194/.294/.333) grouped for a .587, 14th out of 15.

Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

And if you wish to complain in regards to the Yankees buying and selling Mike Tauchman, properly, it’s a free nation, though you need to know that after Tauchman tallied three hits in his Giants debut April 28, producing some headlines, he went .182/.265/.318 in his subsequent 12 video games.

A glance beneath the hood exhibits each Frazier and Gardner struggling from an identical affliction: They weren’t placing the ball as successfully as that they had prior to now, after they attained much better outcomes. Frazier’s common exit velocity stood at 84.2 miles per hour, the worst of his profession by a large margin; his earlier low was 88.1 in 2018, the yr he suffered a concussion. Gardner’s 86.2 mph ranked a pair ticks beneath the 86.4 mph he averaged in 2017 (these numbers return to solely 2015, so that they don’t embody Gardner’s first seven seasons).

“I think in Fraz’s DNA, which is a tremendous trait he has, is he does have really good strike-zone knowledge and doesn’t chase typically,” Boone mentioned. “But there’s that fine line between not firing and not being aggressive, especially in the strike zone, and finding that quality of contact.”

Frazier had swung at 60.4 p.c of pitches he noticed within the strike zone, as per Baseball Savant, consistent with final yr’s 59.7 p.c, which led to superb outcomes. His share in that division dropped steadily, previous to this yr’s slight enhance, from 75.5 p.c in his rookie yr 2017.

“A lot of times that’s just timing that leads to sound mechanics that puts you in a position to square the ball up,” Boone continued. “So I feel like he’s had days where it’s started to show up a little bit where the at-bat quality’s been there, then he’s kind of taken a step back. So we know it’s there. Hopefully it starts to happen.”

Gardner, in a Zoom media session Friday, cited an identical root trigger: “I spent some time recently looking at a lot of video. Could just be a timing thing. So just a matter of the at-bats that I do get, trying to have good at-bats and stay positive and continuing to work.”

The duo’s terribleness should discontinue, all of the extra so if the resurgent Stanton requires an injured-list keep. There are loads of at-bats accessible for each Frazier and Gardner, and it bodes poorly for the Yankees if that actuality stays a fear.

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