Aaron Hicks narrowly avoided a pickoff after belly-flopping back to first
Spring Training is known as a time for players to get in shape and shake off months of rust accrued over the course of the offseason. During the Yankees' 3-2 win against the Phillies on Friday, New York outfielder Aaron Hicks and Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph showed that neither has completely shaken that rust.
After leading off the bottom half of the fifth inning with a single, Hicks faced a challenge in the form of a pickoff attempt from Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson -- a challenge he passed ... eventually.
There are two aspects of this play to take note of. First, of course, is Hicks' belly-flop into the dirt on his way back to the bag. Though he dove toward the base, the forces of momentum failed to work in his favor as he just sort of plopped into the dirt and stuck. He was left to frantically scramble back to the bag using his right arm for propulsion.
Second is Tommy Joseph. As he reached into his glove, he clearly realized something had gone awry in the assumed choreography of the keep-him-honest pickoff throw and changed course to tag the runner.
His reaction was just a little slower than Hicks', though.