For the fourth time this season, Aaron Hicks was out of the Yankees' lineup for the third straight game Thursday night.
For the first time, he took parental leave. The second time, my hamstrings were tight. The third time, after hitting the ball on my shin, I needed a few days off.
This time, Hicks may have lost track of consistent playing time in the outfield.
After a brutal match on Monday night, the attack andon both defenses, Hicks has yet to restart. And with center fielder Esteban Florial called up Wednesday and expected at least semi-regular playing time, Hicks' role appears to have changed in the process, as the final turn of his disappointing season.
Manager Aaron Boone, speaking with Hicks about Floreal's post-promotion role on Thursday before the Yankees lost, said, "Yeah, other players have their chances." sho," he said. Series opener for the Blue Jays in the Bronx, 9-2,. Florial was hit by a pitch as he went 0-for-3 and scored one. "So he understands that. It's also important to understand that things can change quickly. That's part of the message. I'm not playing today, but the situation, the opportunities, the opportunities. Use the competition to change things in 24 hours.
"Suddenly you think you're at rock bottom. Be the centerpiece of the most important game of the year. So baseball has a way of changing in the blink of an eye, and his job now is to be ready, ready, and try to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves."
Hicks pinch-hit for Isiah Kiner Falefa Wednesday night to lead the ninth inning of a 4-4 game against the Rays (the Yankees went 8-7 in 10 innings). A patient switch-hitter, against reliever Ryan Thompson he worked eight pitches at bat, but eventually struck out and heard another steady amount of boos en route back to the dugout.
Boone said Thompson was a right-handed killer and Requires his runner to base, not necessarily hit. Despite his season-long hitting woes, Hicks maintains his third-best on-base percentage (. 338) on the team.
Late Wednesday night, Boone called it a "simple phone call." Hicks' confidence seemed to take a hit on Monday. I put it in," Boone said. "There's also the level that some roles may have changed. We've got to get a little run into it and go unashamed."
Florial Even before being called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Hicks when the Yankees traded. for center fielder Harrison Bader at the trade deadline. The difference is that Vader is currently injured and won't be able to play until at least September.
After a tough offensive year and missing most of last season due to wrist surgery, Hicks has scored minus five defensive runs in center field this season (according to FanGraphs). He has three DRS in left field, but the Yankees trade for Andrew Benintendi and play there almost every day.
Now Floreal is gearing up for the Yankees' latest stint and may have his best chance of regular playing time after a strong campaign in Triple-A. .
"We try to do our best to compete every day, especially for this team," Hicks said Monday night. "Everything I do is just not showing up."