It’s safe to say that so far Aaron Hicks has been a disappointment in Yankees pinstripes.
However, that doesn’t mean the Yankees are ready to give Aaron Judge the job in right field. The key to Hicks being the everyday right fielder is if Judge struggles in Spring Training.
When the Yankees acquired Hicks, they expected him to be the fourth outfielder for Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. However, Hicks fell short at the plate, hitting .217 with eight home runs.
“Of course it humbles you,” Hicks said to the media on Wednesday morning after outdoor workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field were rained out. “In the offseason, that’s kind of where you generate it back. You start it back up. You start hitting again. You start working on your swing.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman mentioned Hicks played better when he was given more playing time. But if Hicks doesn’t get the outfield job, he knows consistent at-bats are going to be rare unless one of the outfielders found themselves on the disabled list.
With that revelation, Hicks made changes to his swing.
“With my left-handed swing, I got shorter with my load and right-handed just getting the ball deeper and seeing it for a longer period of time and being able to drive it to all fields,” Hicks said.
While Yankees fans have gotten impatient with Hicks, he’s appreciative of the support Cashman and Joe Girardi has given him during this transition.
“It feels good,” Hicks said. “They have confidence in me. That’s something you need, especially if you’re going to take the next step to do better for next year. That’s really what you need.
“I believe in my abilities. That’s where you start out. You’ve got to believe in yourself. That’s what I do. ”
— Girardi said that Bryan Mitchell will get the first start of the Spring on Friday afternoon. He added Adam Warren will start Sunday, Luis Severino will start Sunday, Chad Green will start Monday, and Masahiro Tanaka along with Luis Cessa will start in their respective split-squad games on Tuesday.
— Yankees captain Derek Jeter had his annual dinner for the young kids last night and gave the 20 Yankees minor leaguers who were invited some advice. Justus Sheffield said this about the dinner with Jeter: “You could hear a pin drop in there. Everybody was locked in.”