Another day, another surprise for the Yankees’ roster.
The Yankees optioned Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to make room for 1B/DH Edwin Encarnación.
With Mike Tauchman called up earlier in the week, the expectation was for him to head to Triple-A for Encarnación. Then, when the Yankees needed room for Giancarlo Stanton on Tuesday, either Frazier would be optioned or Cameron Maybin would be designated for assignment.
Now, Tauchman will likely be sent down Tuesday unless the Bombers choose to go to a four-man bench for one of the first times this season.
“He’s played a role on a winning team and that doesn’t necessarily stop now, but that’s where we’re at roster-wise,” Aaron Boone told reporters postgame.
The move allows the Yankees to give Frazier everyday time in the outfield in Triple-A while solving an overcrowded Major League outfield. Boone said the decision was “very” difficult while expressing his belief that Frazier will play a role on the Yankees again this season.
Frazier has been a steadying force for the injury-decimated Yankees this season. In 209 plate appearances, he’s hit 11 home runs and batted .283/.332/.513 (119 wRC+). The 24-year-old hit well enough to stick in a Major League lineup.
His much-ballyhooed bat has contrasted with his defensive performance. Frazier has three errors and has been worth -7 Defensive Runs Saved on the year. He’s put up -10 Outs Above Average according to Statcast, better than only Seattle’s Domingo Santana.
Regardless of trade rumors or spats with the media, Frazier has spoken with his bat and has the combination of youth and talent that is worth hanging onto for the Yankees. Still, his next opportunity in the Bronx will have to wait.