This would seem to be the perfect opportunity for the New York Yankees to bring Clint Frazier back up to the big club — but their logic pertaining to the promising corner outfielder has been anything but logical at times.
Yet here they are again, presented with another opportunity to bring him back to the Bronx after they optioned infielder Thairo Estrada to the club’s alternate summer site, thus leaving a roster spot open.
All signs are pointing to Frazier — who is the top candidate to join the Yankees after Miguel Anudjar was optioned from the team last week and must spend 10 days at the alternate site — rejoining the club, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.
Frazier’s professional clock is ticking, whether that’s too dramatic or not is beside the point. The 25-year-old has shown flashes of All-Star capabilities in the majors, but a deep Yankees roster and, at times, a short leash, has limited him to just 123 games of experience in the big leagues.
In 69 games last season — which included a demotion to the minors after the Yankees acquired Edwin Encarnacion at the trade deadline — Frazier slashed .267/.317/.489 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI.
That’s a 162-game pace of 28 home runs and 89 RBI.
Even after a solid showing at summer camp and initially making the 30-man Opening Day roster, Frazier didn’t make it past opening weekend as he was optioned from the club in late-July.
“You’re sending down a player you know is ready to be an impact player in the big leagues,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said at the time. “That’s a hard thing to do.”
With Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day IL because of a hamstring strain, the Yankees could easily find a place for Frazier either in a corner-outfield spot or at DH to ensure they keep the hot bat of Mike Tauchman in the mix as well.
But the fact of the matter is that the Yankees have been held to three runs or fewer in three of their last four games during a stretch that has seen them drop five of their last seven.
They’re still in a good position at 10-6 and two games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East lead, but things can’t get stale for them during the 60-game sprint. Calling up Frazier will help avoid just that.