There has by no means been a query about Aaron Hicks’ expertise. So it was no shock on Tuesday evening when the outfielder despatched the ball simply over the right-field wall for his first residence run of the season. Hicks has all the time had the power and the ability that intrigues the Yankees.
It’s simply been about his capability to remain on the sector.
After lacking just about the entire 2021 season due to a torn ligament sheath in his wrist, Hicks is again to indicate that he is usually a huge contributor to this workforce. Up to now, Hicks has had successful in all however one of many Yankees’ 5 video games this season, hitting .308/.438/.538 with a .976 OPS.
“I really feel like he’s nonetheless discovering his manner however that’s the benefit of it, he’s getting on base,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone stated. “He’s getting his hits. It’s actually good to see him go the opposite manner right-handed. That’s one thing that’s in his sport, particularly right here. I don’t assume he felt like he even received it, however he snuck it out of there. So it’s good to see. Clearly, final season was a misplaced yr for him. I do know he’s actually labored onerous within the winter, going to play winter ball, but additionally bodily getting himself prepared. He performed rather a lot in spring coaching. He was taking a variety of at-bats even on the times he wasn’t taking part in so he will probably be able to go and he’s are available in and actually contributed.
“And right this moment set the tone for us offensively with an enormous first hit.”
Hicks’ first homer of the season was within the second inning, his first at-bat, off Blue Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi.
“I didn’t know,” Hicks stated of the 365-footer. “I imply I knew I hit it nicely, however I didn’t assume it was gonna exit. I assumed perhaps I’d have the ability to get off the wall or not less than have the ability to have a sacrifice [fly].”
As an alternative, it went over the wall and gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. It was the primary time this season the Bombers have scored first in a sport.
It’s a reduction for Hicks after the struggles of the previous few years. Since signing a seven-year, $70 million deal within the spring of 2019, Hicks has performed in simply 145 video games over three seasons due to accidents that included having to have Tommy John surgical procedure and the wrist surgical procedure final season. That has opened the door to questions on his future right here.
However Hicks made a dedication this winter to getting again. That included going to the Dominican Republic to play of their winter league. Hicks thinks that has helped him begin robust this season.
“I’m simply attempting to go on the market and play proper now. Simply play and form of simply benefit from the second and luxuriate in what I’m doing,” Hicks stated. “And simply take it daily. Not likely attempting to assume an excessive amount of about that. However , going to play in DR positively helped that out rather a lot, and having the ability to have spring coaching after which particularly brief spring coaching, however I felt actually comfy whereas I used to be within the DR. So now I’m taking part in my first couple video games. I really feel good.”
If Hicks can keep his well being and keep on the sector, his capability to change hit and hit with energy will assist an offense that struggled final season. Boone thinks this can be a higher offense already and Hicks agrees.
“I imply I really feel just like the workforce previously was form of extra base-to-base. This workforce is already going to first to 3rd. Guys are shifting guys,” Hicks stated. “Guys are nonetheless hitting with energy, however that is positively one thing that’s completely different from years previous.”
Tuesday evening, Hicks needed to take care of somewhat completely different protection as nicely. In opposition to the lefty Kikuchi, the Yankees sat left-handed hitter Joey Gallo and used Giancarlo Stanton in proper subject. They moved Aaron Decide to heart and Hicks to left, a place he had not performed in an enormous league sport since Sept. 29, 2017.
“Similar to my first route, it was form of shaky to start with,” Hicks stated with a smile. “However I imply, once I form of received began to get somewhat bit extra comfy on the market. It was alright, the four-man outfield form of messed me up. However total, I really feel prefer it was fairly, fairly good.”