Clint Frazier Demotion Signifies Future

Clint Frazier

With the recent acquisition of Edwin Encarnacion by the New York YankeesClint Frazier has been demoted. He was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre following Sunday’s 10-3 win against the Chicago White Sox.

The Situation

Clint Frazier has been enjoying a solid season. His .283/.330/.513 slash lines would make him an everyday player on just about any team. His 11 home runs and 34 RBI in 209 plate appearances have been underrated contributions to help keep a team decimated by injuries afloat.

Despite his numbers, he has long been viewed as the odd man out in the outfield. Once Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton return from injury, Frazier has been expected to become an after thought for the starting lineup. In fact, Frazier seemed the obvious choice to be sent down when Stanton returns Tuesday.

That being said, the fact that he was sent down on Sunday is actually a bigger deal than initially viewed. This is because Mike Tauchman was chosen to stay over Frazier. Tauchman has the advantage of being left handed, but his numbers are far inferior to Frazier’s. His slash line is .202/.297/.385 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 118 plate appearances.

Even though Tauchman’s left handed bat is more favorable with the acquisition of another right-handed bat, he will most likely be sent down once Stanton is healthy. Therefore, the better hitter should be kept around for Monday night.

The Issue

Frazier has been making headlines of late. His defensive play has been sub par, making a bevy of errors in right field. His defensive runs saved sits at -7 in just 40 games, and his range factor is a minuscule 1.43.

This inept-defensive display has already put him under scrutiny, but that has been amplified by his handling of the media. After a forgettable-June 2nd game in right field against the Boston Red Sox on ESPN, Frazier did not address the media. This opened a downpour of criticisms.

This battle against the media dates back to Frazier’s arrival in New York. In 2017, allegedly false reports cited Frazier wanting the team to allow him to wear Mickey Mantle‘s retired number seven. In 2018, he got into an argument with team broadcaster Michael Kay, after Kay commented on his absence from the team do to a concussion.

The Outlook

Being involved in a trade seemed all but inevitable for Frazier. Despite his defensive inabilities, he has a world of talent offensively. His name immediately pops into minds when imaginative trade scenarios pop into fans heads. He has been fictitiously traded for Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner, and so many more top flight starting pitchers in the last two seasons.

Frazier’s demotion is the culmination of drama coming to a head. His potent bat makes him appealing to any team looking to rebuild. His desire to simply be himself in the New York market has seemingly done more bad than good. Not to mention, his lack of defensive stability and versatility pegs him as the odd man out on the roster.

His recent demotion, exiled in favor of Mike Tauchman, only further confirms the inevitable. As pieces come and go during the July 31st trade deadline, Clint Frazier will be a player on the move, out of the Bronx.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images