Notes: Hicks (back) rests; Frazier battling

April 25th, 2021

Aaron Hicks is experiencing back tightness that kept the center fielder out of the Yankees’ lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Indians, manager Aaron Boone said.

“It’s nothing I’m too worried about,” Boone said. “But it kind of pushed me into saying [Sunday] is a good day to get him down.”

Hicks received treatment on Sunday morning, according to Boone. The 31-year-old switch-hitter homered in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday at Cleveland – his first time homering in consecutive contests since July 23-24, 2019.

“He could have played,” Boone said. “I just decided not to push things in a day game after a night game.”

Hicks is batting .172 (11-for-64) with three homers and seven RBIs this season.

Caught in the middle
entered Sunday’s game hitless in the Cleveland series and 7-for-47 (.149) overall. Hitting coach Marcus Thames has said that Frazier must “get back to being a little bit more aggressive” and “pull the trigger” when he sees hittable pitches, an assessment that Boone agrees with.

“I think he’s a little bit in between,” Boone said. “The last two nights, even though he hasn’t gotten a lot of results, I still feel like he’s thrown some better at-bats up there. When you get that heater on the plate to do something with, he’s putting it on the net or fouling it off. It’s probably just a little bit of getting into that good hitting position on time and hopefully, the results follow from there.”

Deivi’s day
Right-hander will have the ball on Monday as the Yankees open their series with the Orioles at Camden Yards. García, the Bombers’ No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, traveled with the club on its taxi squad for the Cleveland series.

“My preparation was kind of like just normal, getting ready for a start,” García said through an interpreter. “I did want to focus a little bit on my slider. It’s a pitch I like and I've been using. I wanted to just get better with it and see what situations in the game I can use it. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

This spring, García competed with right-hander and others for a rotation slot that went to right-hander . Monday will mark García’s first outing of 2021 after he finished 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA in six regular-season starts last season.

“I'm just more mature as a pitcher [compared to 2020],” García said. “When you have the experience I had last year here with the team, it allows you to make better decisions and execute better pitches. I think in addition to my slider, my changeup is also a weapon for me. I've got more confidence in the pitch. I've been able to use it more this year. So the combination of all those things, I think just ends up moving me forward in my development as a pitcher."

Bombers bits
• Yankees pitchers entered Sunday with 217 strikeouts, the most in franchise history through the first 20 games of a season, surpassing 214 strikeouts by the 2018 club. Their record through 21 games is 222, by the 2018 Yanks.

• Sunday is right-hander Luis Cessa’s 29th birthday.

This date in Yankees history
April 25, 1999:
The Yankees unveiled Joe DiMaggio’s monument at Yankee Stadium before a sold-out crowd and many of the Yankee Clipper’s former teammates. Paul Simon performed “Mrs. Robinson” while standing in center field, honoring DiMaggio, who passed away prior to the season.