Aaron Judge’s return from the injured list took care of the right field on Wednesday night against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium because the Yankees did not activate him for not playing when every inning left in a very strange season counts.
What it did do was get Aaron Boone to decide between a very productive Clint Frazier, a right-handed hitter turned into the Yankees’ third best player, and the left-hander hitting Brett Gardner in the left field. Boone could also have gone with left-wing swinger Mike Tauchman.
Boone went with Frazier coming into the game, hitting .350 (7-for-20) with a 1,090 OPS and a .440 base percentage in the previous six games over Gardner and Tauchman, which were set in deep downturns. Based on how Gardner, who has been a mentor to Frazier, and Tauchman were, and how well Frazer swung bats and played defense, it could not have been so hard of a call to Boone, whose club tried to extend a six-game winning streak. row.
Gardner hit .1
Frazier has not only been a difference in the batting order, his play on the right field is forever away from what it was last year when fly-balls and ground-balls were adventures. That, he said recently, was related to the concussion he suffered in 2018.
While Boone talked about Gardner and Tauchman “as game changers” defensively, he praised Frazier’s improvement.
“Loved what we see from Clint. His athletics are really starting to show up for him in the field, ” Boone said. “I look forward to seeing him continue to build on what has been a really great race for him. ”
While the Yankees are tasked with getting the referee ready for the record season, they must also weigh it against him not to hurt the real calf that had restricted him to a game since Aug. 12. Boone said the judge would not be in the lineup Wednesday. This means that Frazier is likely to move from left to right.
Even if Boone jumped on Frazier’s defense, it would not be a shock if the manager lifted Frazier to defense in the late innings in games where the Yankees have a lead.
“Possibly,” Boone said of using Gardner or Tauchman to protect a lead. “With Clint going over to the left field and left field in our stadium and all that land and [Gardner and Tauchman] play it so well out there, kind of game changers defensively for us out there. ”
For far too much of Boone’s three-year tenure, he has not been able to put Judge’s name on a lineup card as much as he would like. So, understandably, dropping the referee into the No. 2 spot between MVP candidate DJ LeMahieu and the volatile Aaron Hicks, whose .374 on-base percentage helps offset a disappointing .209 stroke average, caused Boone’s juice to flow.
“A lot of excitement, just watching him go inside [Wednesday] and see how everything went [Tuesday at the alternate site]Writing him back in the lineup is great, ” said Boone, who explained that he did not think much about leaving Luke Voit, who led the majors with 18 homers, in the No. 2 spot that is the referee’s home. “Get through today and start building these guys [Giancarlo Stanton and Judge] and get much closer to being whole. ”
In terms of where Gardner fits, Boone was not ready to count the 37-year-old out.
“I want him to start getting it started a little in the last few weeks. The results are not necessarily the same as what we have seen on some of the underlying things he has done, ” Boone said of Gardner, who was 4-for-11 (.364) with a .533 base percentage in the previous five games . “There will be opportunities down the stretch. A lot can change now and next week, three weeks from now. He is a very important player for us and I expect that to continue. ”