First the Diamondbacks insisted Yasmany Tomas could play third base, then they moved him to the outfield, and now they’ve sent him to Triple-A. So what position will the $68.5 million pickup from Cuba play in the minors?
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Tomas will play third base, outfield, and possibly even some first base. Or as general manager Dave Stewart put it:
What we’re trying to do is figure out a way to create at-bats for him, which is primarily the reason he didn’t stay. If we had more at-bats and could get him more playing time, he’d be here.
First base in Arizona is occupied by Paul Goldschmidt and prospect Jake Lamb is a better long-term bet at third base. Mark Trumbo started in right field for the Diamondbacks on Opening Day. He’s a 29-year-old with a career .247 batting average and .298 on-base percentage. He also has a .460 slugging percentage thanks to 30-homer power, but the combination of his awful OBP skills, age, and poor defense make Trumbo someone who really shouldn’t be blocking Tomas on a rebuilding team.
Whenever he does get called up to Arizona for good, it seems likely that Tomas will be replacing Trumbo.
The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.
One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.
Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.
Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.