On Saturday night, the New York Yankees announced that they sent fielders Clint Frazier and right-handed reliever Ben Heller to their alternate training site. The club plans to bring right-handers Nick Nelson and Brooks Kriske to the active roster instead.
They’ll add a new pair of arms to a pitching team that saw James Paxton work just one more inning in Saturday’s loss to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
Thus continue Frazier’s repeated travels in and out of the active major league roster. The best prospect ever has been a decent offense, albeit with some high-profile defensive issues, when he’s had MLB opportunities (.254 / .308 / .463 career in 429 plate appearances). Still, he’s struggled to figure out the Yankees’ defensive outfield.
Due to its immense power potential, it has long been rumored as a potential candidate for change. So far, the organization has expressed little interest in giving it up.
However, given the club’s competitive outlook, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his name reappear in rumors this season. Yesterday’s demotion does not suggest that the organization has soured in Frazier in the long term, but it does underscore the difficulty for him of playing an immediate and significant role in the Bronx.
Nelson and Kriske, 24 and 26, in that order, meanwhile, will make their MLB debut every time they enter a game. They each recorded strong strikeout and prevention numbers in Double-A in 2019, albeit with slightly elevated walk rates.