Cameron Maybin is a great clubhouse guy, which means he’ll be great for the New York Yankees this October.
He didn’t choose the hug life. The hug life chose him.
As everyone is aware, Cameron Maybin has become somewhat of a fixture in the clubhouse. Whenever a home run is crushed, Maybin is waiting in the dugout, arms wide open in anticipation of a gif-able hug. But that isn’t Cameron Maybin’s most significant contribution to the New York Yankees this season.
And his job is far from done in the Bronx.
With October rapidly approaching, the Yankees are shoring up their postseason rosters. While Maybin might have been an afterthought earlier in the season, as time winds down, he’s becoming a more vital player for the Yankees than they could have ever imagined.
Giancarlo Stanton is slated to return to the big leagues incredibly soon and will surely have a spot on the postseason roster due to the threat of power. Aaron Hicks, the highly-paid centerfielder, has been all but ruled out for the month of October. And, most recently, surprising newcomer Mike Tauchman has succumbed to a Grade-2 calf strain, keeping him out for likely all of the postseason.
Maybin to the rescue!
With the injuries piling up, the starting outfield likely consists of 36-year-old Brett Gardner in center, newly healthy Giancarlo Stanton in left and the monstrous Aaron Judge in right.
Those three are ideal but what happens if there is an injury? While Tauchman and Hicks would likely be the obvious choices for the postseason roster, neither can fulfill that duty. Instead, Maybin is the next man up, and a good one at that.
The Yankees do have the option to go with another outfielder as their fourth but Clint Frazier is just too shaky in the field, while Maybin the veteran has proven time and time again that he can patrol the outfield with the best of them.
While he has little postseason experience during his time with the 2017 Houston Astros and didn’t get much of a fair shake, his defense is enough to have him be a huge difference-maker for this team.
Maybin is not only a versatile player but he has spent significant time commanding centerfield during his time in the league. Gardner serves as the primary centerfielder with Hicks out but they need a back-up in case of injury or just a day off. And not just for Gardner…what if Aaron Judge serves as a designated hitter? Or Giancarlo Stanton? Maybin can easily fill in that void with a reliable glove.
When the Yankees signed him, did they truly expect him to be on their postseason roster? Did they truly expect to not have their newly signed centerfielder? Did they imagine that Clint Frazier would be a defensive liability?
They never planned for any of this but it’s working out perfectly. Having a healthy Cameron Maybin in the outfield chasing down base hits wasn’t the original idea but it’s definitely the best solution. Maybin will provide a boost defensively to the outfield and be given an opportunity to prove himself at the plate as well.
The 32-year-old journeyman has found his calling: being a reliable outfielder for the Yankees. This postseason, he’ll truly be tested.
And knowing Cameron Maybin, he’ll be passing with flying colors … with a hug or two.