The pre-colon part of that title reads like the title of a The Starting Line song, doesn’t it? My trashy pop-punk tastes aside, let’s dive into the unfortunate muck that was the unfortunate 2021 season for Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andújar.
Before we talk about the recent past of this season, let’s look back to the less recent past of the beginning of this season. Going into 2021, all four of these players were expected to have big roles with the Yankees. Three of them–Hicks, Frazier, and Voit–were expected to be season-long starters. And while Miggy wasn’t penciled into the starting lineup, he was expected to force playing time with his bat. Then, none of them ended up playing more than 68 games or amassed more than 241 plate appearances (both distinctions go to Luke Voit).
To add insult to injury, quite literally, they didn’t play all that well when they were healthy. Voit put up a 109 OPS+, but never quite looked right. Meanwhile, Hicks, Frazier, and Andújar put up 73, 76, and 82 marks respectively. In a year of disappointments on multiple fronts, these four seem to take the cake (though we should take this chance to wish Clint well because it’s clear there’s something post-concussion going on and we want him healthy and able to live a regular life).
Now, after this failure of a year, all four are big pinstriped question marks going into 2022.
Voit is all but gone.
Frazier and Andújar are non-tender candidates.
Hicks may not be the starting center fielder anymore.
One way or another, the 2022 Yankees are going to look a lot different than the 2021 Yankees did. That it may be without these guys–all of them fairly easy to root for–is disappointing to say the least.
But Voit and Hicks can’t stay healthy. Frazier has health issues, too, and wasn’t able to take the job by the horns in early ’21. Andújar just looks like a shell of the dude who came in second place in 2018 AL ROY voting and is position-less. There just isn’t room for at least three of these four on the roster anymore.
Ideally, Hicks is the fourth outfielder going forward, despite his contract. Hopefully, the Yankees can fetch something on the trade market for Frazier, Andújar, or Voit and not lose them for nothing on the non-tender market.
It’s a shame when things just don’t work out or a roster doesn’t fit everyone. That’s clearly the case here for these players, for one reason or another.