When the Yankees finally designated struggling outfielder Aaron Hicks for assignment last month, it was hard to find any fans upset about it. The general feeling was relief that it finally happened.
This relationship just wasn’t working out anymore. Hicks had been struggling to some degree with the Yankees since 2019, and it came to a head this season. He slashed .188/.263/.261 with one home run, five RBI, and nine runs scored in 76 plate appearances. His playing time was intermittent. It also seemed like New York preferred newly-minted super-utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the outfield instead of him.
The Baltimore Orioles picked Hicks up off the scrap heap after Cedric Mullins hit the injured list. So, they had an opening for playing time while hoping they could help revive his career.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. He’s only appeared in 10 games while racking up 36 plate appearances with the O’s. However, it’s included a .345/.472/.586 line with one homer, four RBI, and eight runs scored. Hicks has produced a 197 wRC+, a 1.058 OPS, and 0.7 fWAR in Baltimore. In twice the amount of playing time with the Yankees, those numbers were just 49, .524, and -0.4, respectively.
Plenty of people probably knew something like this would happen. It doesn’t make it sting any less, though. Do you know why? Well, because the Yankees sure could use production like that in their lineup right now. Let’s not forget that Aaron Judge is also on the injured list, and the Bombers’ lineup is a shell of itself without their Captain.
We can hope some of the healthy Yankees hitters spent their day off on Monday finding ways to bust out of their respective slumps. The results of whatever they did will be on display Tuesday and Wednesday at Citi Field for the first installment of this year’s Subway Series.
As for Hicks, though, the goal for him will obviously be to stay hot at the plate for as long as possible. But if he had to put a specific date on it, he’d probably like to keep producing until after his Yankee Stadium homecoming in a few weeks.