MINNEAPOLIS — Aaron Boone took the high road and opted to not say what a lot of Yankees probably are thinking about Clint Frazier’s return to Yankee Stadium this weekend with the Chicago Cubs.
Frazier was not popular with his teammates and the Yankees had grown sick of his nonstop controversies by the time they opted to move on last winter, but Boone wouldn’t go into any of that on the eve of his return.
“He had some injury stuff that that he had to deal with that cost him a lot of time,” Boone responded. “He missed a lot of time and important reps and by no doing of his own.”
As for the “no doing of his own” line, Frazier continuously created distractions starting from his first full season in the organization when he resisted abiding to the Yankees’ appearance policy because he adored his red locks.
There was a lot more controversy over the years, including some tiffs with the media. He even took shots at the Yankees’ medical team. Frazier even kept it up last December after he signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Cubs eight days after the Yankees released him, then continued to vent during spring training and again this week.
“I don’t know,” Boone said. “Ultimately, I think just missing time and missing a lot of opportunities to really establish himself at this level … He obviously had stretches where he played really well for us and he had stretches where he missed a lot of time and struggled to get that consistent playing time. So I think it’s just unfortunately sometimes part of the game.”
Frazier hasn’t been all that with the Cubs. Heading into the weekend, he’s hitting just .216 with no homers and one RBI in 19 games, 10 of them starts against left-handed pitching. He also spent five weeks on the injured list recovering from an appendectomy. His game has picked up since he returned on May 29, as he hit .313 in his first nine games back.