The Yankees get good news on an injured player as Aaron Hicks begins his rehab assignment tonight with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Hicks was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to tightness in his right oblique, and has not played since June 25.
The 27-year-old was in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .290/.398/.515 with a career-high 37 walks in just 60 games before his injury. He began the season as the Yankee fourth outfielder because he lost the right field competition to Aaron Judge. Hicks took advantage of increased playing time in center field when Jacoby Ellsbury went down with a concussion and neck injury.
Because Hicks is a switch-hitter, he will probably need a few games to get both of his swings back. He is batting second and playing center field for the RailRiders in their matchup with the Buffalo Bison tonight.
When Hicks is ready to return, it will create a controversial logjam of outfielders in the Bronx. The impressive play of Clint Frazier since his promotion has pushed Ellsbury into the fourth outfielder role. General manager Brian Cashman was quoted as saying Frazier will be demoted upon Hicks’s return. That doesn’t seem so obvious now, and Cashman said so in a more recent interview.
At this point, the Yankees have not announced a firm return date for the switch-hitting outfielder.