This should be Aaron Hicks’ time to prove his value to the New York Yankees.
The Yankees have a need in center as Harrison Bader will miss time due to his strained left oblique. Although his timetable to return remains unknown, Bader is going to miss time at the beginning of the season. As Hicks has spent the vast majority of his career in center, and made 81 appearances at the position last year, he would appear to be a natural replacement.
New York Yankees keeping Aaron Hicks where he is
But that is not going to be the case. According to Brendan Kuty from The Athletic, Hicks is not a part of the Yankees equation in center. Instead, the Yankees are going to put Aaron Judge back at the position, keeping Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera in left.
This decision does make a degree of sense. Hicks is not the healthiest of beings, having appeared in at least 100 games only three times in his ten years in the majors. Playing in left should take cause a bit less wear on his body. Likewise, Judge has been a brilliant defense presence in center, helping the Yankees while Hicks and Bader were injured last year. Hicks, meanwhile, has not been an asset defensively in center since 2017.
It is ultimately a matter of putting the best lineup possible on the diamond. Hicks is a part of that group for now, although that involves what may be a part time role in left. The Yankees are going to need whatever production he can bring to the lineup, especially with the question marks they already have on the roster. If keeping him out of center will help, then so be it.
The New York Yankees have a hole in center with Harrison Bader’s injury. Aaron Hicks will not be a part of the answer despite his experience.