Center fielder Aaron Hicks dropped an absolute nuke on this casual Tuesday evening when he said that he is ready to play following an elbow injury that has sidelined him since early-August.
Hicks has been working out in Tampa with several other players that the Yankees are “keeping hot” in case of injury or any other reason that they might need them. Those players include Mike Ford, Jordan Montgomery, Clint Frazier, and Stephen Tarpley.
One day after New York completed a sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, Hicks says he is “definitely ready to go out there an play.”
Hicks continued, “For sure. That’s really what I’m getting ready for is to get back and play in the playoffs.”
The outfielder is “pretty much doing everything” including throwing to bases and facing live pitching.
Who knows if the Yankees would activate him. Whatever live pitching he has faced is still no equivalent to playing a real game, let alone a postseason game. Moreover, Cameron Maybin, Tyler Wade, or Luke Voit would have to lose their roster spot in order to make room for Hicks, as the Yanks are already at the unofficial-minimum 12 pitchers on the roster.
Assuming he does get activated because he’s actually ready-to-go and he is a full participant as a starter, etc., I think the starting position player switch is relatively simple. Hicks would play center field, Brett Gardner shifts to left, Giancarlo Stanton and his crappy knee can DH, Edwin plays first (and becomes the Yanks’ worst defender), DJ LeMahieu moves to third base (he’s a little more valuable over there, defensively, than he is at first), and Gio Urshela, believe it or not, goes to the bench, especially with the performance Didi Gregorius has had in games two and three of the ALDS.
Gio’s bat has woken up a bit and we know how good his defense becomes, but perhaps they do some late-game switching around after pinch-running for Edwin or something and he gets in there after the sixth inning. Idk. That’s how I’d do it, though, assuming Hicks actually plays. Maybe he’s the fourth outfielder for now since his bat is an unknown quantity. In that case, I’d have to think Cameron Maybin is the odd man out.
No clue what I’m supposed to feel right now. If Hicks is fully good to go then he should play because he is a very good player, but boy is it going to be tough to take a guy off the roster/out of the lineup. Exciting times, nonetheless!