New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier has been quite disappointing so far this season.
After hitting an anemic .156 in April, Frazier is just 3-for-23 in the month of May.
In Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Frazier’s frustrations boiled over as he took a called third strike on the inside corner of the plate.
Frazier turned around and barked at home plate umpire Bill Miller, voicing his displeasure with the call. As a result, Miller quickly tossed Frazier from the game and his night was over after two more hitless at-bats.
It was the first time Frazier has been ejected in his big-league career.
In 89 at-bats this season, Frazier has three home runs and 6 RBIs, hitting .146 with a .575 OPS and 25 strikeouts. He’s also slashing .128/.265/.279 in his last 30 games.
These struggles are not what the Yankees envisioned when they anointed Frazier as their starting left fielder prior to the 2021 season. Especially after back-to-back impressive campaigns in 2019-20, where he slugged 20 homers and drove in 64 RBIs while batting .267 in 356 at-bats.
Those two seasons set the table for the Yankees’ former top prospect to finally get his shot as a starter in the Bronx. And most individuals believed his opportunity was long overdue and applauded the Yankees’ decision to start him this year.
Thus far, it hasn’t worked out. If Frazier’s woes continue, it’s only a matter of time before the team loses their patience.
Potential Replacement Options
Frazier must shake this slump, or else he could be displaced by Miguel Andújar, who was called back up to the big-league roster last week. Fortunately for Frazier, Andújar gave him a little more breathing room after he went 0-for-9 in the team’s series with the Washington Nationals last weekend.
What about Brett Gardner? The Yankees re-signed the team's longest-tenured player in the offseason for another go around at age 37. This move hasn’t worked out yet either as Gardner has had similar struggles offensively.
Gardner is 12-for-64 to start the year with no homers and three RBIs. After producing a five-game hitting streak in the first week of the season, Gardner has since gone 6-for-47 (.128) with two RBIs and one extra base hit.
So, what can the Yankees do if Frazier can’t pick things up? It’s not like Gardner or Andújar are tearing the cover off the baseball. In fact, they've done just the opposite.
At the very least, Aaron Boone’s club better hope that one of the three can find their footing offensively. The Yankees want it to be Frazier, which is why he is still playing every day, but he must snap out of it soon. Otherwise, he'll find himself on the bench, or back in Scranton until he figures things out.
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