Frazier undeterred by injured ankle

April 23rd, 2019

ANAHEIM -- has been making the most of the opportunities created by virtue of the Yankees carrying a Major League-leading 13 players on the injured list, and the outfielder is adamant it will require more than a sprained left ankle to take him out of the lineup.

An awkward 12th-inning slide into second base Monday prompted concern from manager Aaron Boone and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, who found Frazier wincing but insistent that he was not leaving the game. A tight wrap helped Frazier through the rest of the Yankees' 4-3, 14-inning victory over the Angels, and he said he expects to be in Tuesday's lineup.

"It's sore. It's a little sprain, but it's one of those things where I went through too much last year to not go out there and play," Frazier said. "The IL is too full for us, so I'm good. I'm going to keep playing."

Frazier was limited to 69 games (15 in the Majors) last season by the effects of a concussion sustained in the Yankees' second exhibition game of the spring.

The absences of Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and now Aaron Judge have created playing time for Frazier, who is batting .339 (19-for-56) with five homers and 13 RBIs in his last 14 games. He went 1-for-6 in Monday's extra-inning affair and walked gingerly at times, including after a 14th-inning strikeout.

"I think he's fine. He says he's good," Boone said. "Obviously it's a scare when you see him go down like that, but it didn't seem to be swollen or anything like that. I think he's fine and we'll see what it looks like [Tuesday]."

The Yankees had been held hitless since Gio Urshela's fourth-inning single, a span of 23 plate appearances, when Frazier doubled to open the 12th inning. He scrambled back on a pickoff attempt by Taylor Cole and appeared to jam his left ankle against the bag while getting tangled with the fielder.

After waving off Boone and Donohue, Frazier sprinted to third base on a Mike Tauchman groundout, then charged home again with the go-ahead run on Urshela's sacrifice fly to deep center field.

"I kept telling myself, 'Everything you've got,'" Frazier said. "Last year, that's a real injury. [Tonight] I could still go out there, I could still walk, I could still contribute to this team. We need everybody out there and I wanted to go home, so that's where I found the extra gear."

In the event that Frazier is unable to play, the Yankees' outfield alignment would likely consist of Tauchman, Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade. Boone said he would have considered using Thairo Estrada in the outfield Monday, noting the infielder's athleticism.

"I can't predict what will happen, but as of right now I think I could go out there and play," Frazier said. "I went through too much last year to not continue to stay out on that field, so a lot of things would have to go wrong for me to not play out there."