Aaron Judge’s return causes inevitable Yankees dilemma

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Aaron Judge’s return from the injured list took care of right pitch Wednesday night against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium because the Yankees didn’t activate him to not play when every inning left in a very season. strange account.This gave Aaron Boone the choice between a very productive Clint Frazier, a right-handed hitter who became the Yankees’ third-best player, and left-handed hitter Brett Gardner in left field. Boone could also have left with fellow left-wing swinging mate Mike Tauchman.

Boone went with Frazier, who entered the game with a .350 strike (7 for 20) with a 1.090 OPS and a base percentage of .440 in the previous six games, over Gardner and Tauchman, who were mired in deep crises. Based on where Gardner, who was a mentor to Frazier, and Tauchman were and how well Frazer was swinging the bat and playing defense, it couldn’t have been as difficult as a call for Boone, whose club were trying to extend a six-game winning streak.

Gardner hit .185 (20 for 108) in 41 games and Tauchman had hit .156 (5 for 32) in the previous 14 games.

Aaron Judge (l) and Clint Frazier
Aaron Judge (l) and Clint FrazierPaul J. Bereswill

Not only has Frazier made the difference in batting order, his right field play is nowhere near what it was last year when flying balls and ground balls were adventures. This, he recently said, was linked to the concussion he suffered in 2018.

While Boone spoke of Gardner and Tauchman “game changing” on the defensive end, he praised Frazier’s improvement.

“I loved what we see from Clint. His athleticism is really starting to show for him in the outfield, ”said Boone. I can’t wait to see him continue to build on what has been a great race for him. ”

While the Yankees will be tasked with preparing the judge for the playoffs, they also need to balance that against him not again injuring the right calf that had limited him to one game since August 12. Boone said the judge would not be in the lineup. Wednesday. This means that Frazier will likely move from left to right.

While Boone has gushed over Frazier’s defense, it won’t come as a shock if the manager lifts Frazier for defense in the final innings of games in which the Yankees have a lead.

“Maybe,” Boone said of using Gardner or Tauchman to protect a pellet. “With Clint going to left field and left field in our stadium and all this pitch and [Gardner and Tauchman] play so well there, kind of a game changer defensively for us there. ”

For too much of Boone’s three-year tenure, he hasn’t been able to put Judge’s name on a roster card as much as he would like. So naturally, knocking Judge down to second place between MVP contender DJ LeMahieu and kicking Aaron Hicks, whose base percentage of .374 helps offset a disappointing batting average of .209, poured the juice out. by Boone.

“Lots of excitement just to see him come in [Wednesday] and see how it all went [Tuesday at the alternate site], writing it back into the roster is huge, ”said Boone, who said he hadn’t given much thought to leaving Luke Voit, who led the majors with 18 home runs, in second place, who is the house of Judge. “Go through today and start building these guys [Giancarlo Stanton and Judge] and come much closer to its integrity. ”

As for where Gardner stands, Boone wasn’t ready to count the 37-year-old.

“I feel like in the last few weeks he’s started to get things done a bit. The results don’t necessarily line up with what we’ve seen on some of the underlying things he’s done, ”Boone said of Gardner, who was 4 to 11 (0.364) with a base percentage of 0.533. in the previous five games. “There will be opportunities in the extension. A lot can change between now and next week, three weeks from now. He’s a very important player for us and I expect that to continue. “

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