Mike Tauchman
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The New York Yankees sent Mike Tauchman to Triple-A signaling the return of Aaron Hicks to the lineup Monday night.

Dom Renna

With the return of Aaron Hicks looming Monday, the New York Yankees announced they’ve sent Mike Tauchman to Triple-A.

Tauchman was acquired prior to the start of the regular season for the Bombers to serve as insurance with Hicks starting the year on the injured list. The former Colorado Rockie showed signs of life at times with the bat and glove but still needs some seasoning down on the minor league level.

In 32 games this year, Tauchman posted a .213 average and showed some occasional pop belting four big home runs in key moments of the game. In Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Tauchman hit a bullet off the wall against reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell but it just was not enough to keep the 28-year-old around for the time being.

The move signals that New York will activate Aaron Hicks from IL after dealing a back issue early in spring training. Hicks could have returned in the Bombers’ weekend set against Tampa Bay, but instead, the 29-year-old took more rehab at-bats with Scranton.

Hicks had a career year last year in Pinstripes where he belted a career-high 27 home runs, 79 RBI, and 119 hits while working a .366 on-base percentage and an OPS of .833. His glove and arm in center field are one of the best the game has to offer. Not to mention, his ability to hit from both sides of the plate adds versatility to the lineup.

With his return, the Yankees will now be able to give Brett Gardner some days off after that plan went awry after Hicks’ injury. Gardner has struggled in 2019 hitting .204 in 38 games.

The Yankees get set to face the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium Monday at 6:35 p.m. ET.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.