Clint Frazier is going to have another chance to prove himself to the New York Yankees, but will it matter in the long run?
At the 2016 trade deadline for Major League Baseball, Clint Frazier was the talk of the town. The New York Yankees swiped one of the top prospects in baseball from the Cleveland Indians, giving up Andrew Miller in the process.
With their stellar bullpen, this trade was a huge win for the Yankees, allowing them to convert this red-headed wonder into a future starter who would carry the team for years to come.
Fast-forward four years and Clint Frazier has yet to officially have an extended opportunity in the Bronx. Traveling up and down through the system, 2019 seemed to be his coming out year before he was sent down for defensive work in the middle of June and brought back up when the rosters expanded in September.
After not starting the season on the Opening Day roster, the reasoning surrounding his absence was primarily to work on his defense. He has proven over the past few years that he can handle Major League pitching but his defense left much to be desired. Instead, the Yankees went with an outfield of the oft-injured stars in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, a recovering Aaron Hicks and an aging Brett Gardner. Mike Tauchman filled another outfield utility role and the last one went to Miguel Andujar.
With Stanton heading to the IL promptly, the next logical call-up would be Clint Frazier. Miguel Andujar was just sent down just days before after struggling in sporadic at-bats and leaving much to be desired in multiple facets on defense.
Instead, Thairo Estrada got the initial call, but the Yankees recalled Frazier on Tuesday afternoon.
Roster Move: Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees recalled OF Clint Frazier (#77) from the Alternate Site.
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) August 11, 2020
Why Did The Clint Frazier Call-Up Take So Long?
At this rate, there are no other excuses. The Yankees had multiple opportunities to call up this spark plug in the past few seasons and have yet to provide him with that opportunity to truly make his name in the Bronx. He’s been such a highly coveted prospect for years and yet, the Yankees have made their feelings quite clear about where he fits into their plans.
Hint: he doesn’t.
Clint Frazier is brimming with exceptional talent and should have the opportunity to showcase his skills on the biggest stage in the game. Many blame the re-signing of Brett Gardner for his lack of playing time but if the Yankees truly wanted him on the field, they would shuffle things around the make it happen.
They said so with Miguel Andujar this offseason. If Miguel Andujar is healthy, they want his bat in the lineup. That was a primary reason not to trade him away just yet. But with Clint Frazier, everything seems to be different.
This is the perfect opportunity to give Clint Frazier some playing time and see what he is truly all about. His defensive woes in the past year could have easily been due to his concussion issues in previous years. Now, early in this shortened season, would be the time for a spark to make a difference.
The offense has halted for the Yankees. Their starting pitching is struggling. The team needs a boost, a burst of light. Clint Frazier has done that before with his bat and can easily be the guy to do it again.
He’ll have some at-bats to prove himself in the Bronx, but it’s tough to tell if this will be a legitimate opportunity or if the Yankees are planning on sending him back down sooner rather than later. History would indicate that it’s the latter.