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Friday, June 10, 2022

Clint Frazier bashes ‘cookie-cutter’ Yankees ahead of Bronx return

‘‘I like it here,’’ Frazier said of Chicago. ‘‘Certainly don’t miss some of the things over there. And I’m really enjoying the way that this clubhouse has maneuvered. It seems like there’s a lot of guys in here that are just accepting of everyone. And it’s been really good for me.

“You had to be a cookie-cutter version to be on that team,” he continued of the Yankees. “If not, then you were like a really bad distraction, it seemed like. So I don’t miss being told how I had to look for the last five years.”

Frazier has since grown a beard since joining the Cubs, but he hasn’t grown his portfolio on the field. The outfielder is garnering limited playing time on the 23-33 squad. He only has 45 plate appearances in 19 games this season while dealing with injuries. In those at-bats, he is hitting .216 with a .653 OPS and no home runs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2022 at 03:35 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: clint frazier, yankees

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2022 at 04:21 PM (#6081036)
He was injured for about 6 weeks, he'd have a lot more PT otherwise. He started 5 of the first 11 and appeared in 5 more; since his return, he's again started 5 of 11 and appeared in 4 more. The numbers are terrible but his main competition for PT is Schwindel whose numbers are terrible, Rivas whose numbers are terrible, Hermosillo (if he ever gets healthy) whose numbers are beyond terrible ... and maybe Heyward whose numbers are terrible. He may get cut when Suzuki and Villar come off the IL.

EDIT: And based on the picture at b-r, the Yanks were doing him a favor. :-)
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6081044)
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 10, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6081047)
Memo to Frazier: Numbers talk and bullshit walks.
   4. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: June 10, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6081048)
Well, that sucks for him. He should have been playing more ahead of Heyward (so should Hermasillo before he got hurt), but it's hard to feel that strongly about it since neither did much in their (very) limited chances. Unlike Heyward, who of course, has proven he has nothing left. Now Morel seems to have solidified his spot in CF (and won't be challenged by Davis anytime soon since he's hurt, possibly for the year).

Of course, he's kinda limited to LF and DH, which aren't positions Heyward has played. I guess when Suzuki comes back, it means Heyward will be benched finally. Or if the Cubs really want to make my year, DFA'd.

Schwindel whose numbers are terrible,

That's too simple. Since he was demoted to AAA (for a day), he's been much better (.268/.314/.491) but he dug a pretty big hole early.

EDIT 2: This also means the Cubs chose to keep PJ Higgins as a 3rd catcher/backup 1b over him. So either Contreras is closer to being traded than we thought, or he's just going to DH a ton between now and the deadline to try and keep him healthy.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2022 at 06:02 PM (#6081053)
Cubs made a heap of roster moves. With Gomes activated, keeping Higgins is odd ... but then he's got a 170 OPS+ ... and does he have an option left? Villar is also back and Suzuki apparently expected back in the next day or two. Rivas, who's slumped terribly, was also optioned out. I suppose Higgins might go when Suzuki is back, we're also coming up to the point where teams finally have to dump the 14th pitcher (unless they extend the deadline again) so maybe Higgins will survive. Madrigal should also be hanging by a thread but there aren't any good (or even interesting bad) options for his slot unless they think that's Morel's long-term spot.

Cubs currently lead the NL with 1.3 WAA out of the C spot.

Higgins a great example of "anybody in X PA can hit anything" where X is some small amount. Last year he had 25 PA and a -53 OPS+; so far this year, 41 PA and a 170 OPS+ ... all adds up to a 80 OPS+ overall which would be just fine for a backup C.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2022 at 06:23 PM (#6081059)
Frazier showed flashes of talent, but had a lot of injuries, and mostly just didn’t hit well enough to earn much playing time with the Yankees. Looked like he may have turned a corner in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, when he put up a 150 OPS+, with good outfield defense, but he didn’t sustain that in 2021 (OPS+ 76) or 2022 (OPS+ 87). Maybe he gets straightened out in the minors somewhere, but more likely he’s just a fringe player.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2022 at 07:14 PM (#6081068)
YC notes 2021-22 were not kind but Frazier is the sort of player who should benefit from the universal DH and the requirement that teams carry at least 14 position players. He hasn't been a great hitter or anything but still a 104 OPS+ should get you into a DH rotation and the 14th man makes his defensive limitations easier to manage around. He looked like a guy with the potential to maybe hit well enough to be a full-time DH and, if not, at least be a decent bat/5th OF/DH, especially against LHP. (EDIT: But yes, clearly a terrible fit on the Yanks with Judge, Stanton and Gallo around ... what the Yanks need is a CF/MD.)

FWIW (21 PAs), he's hit well since coming off the IL at 313/476/375. I'm sure the 476 OBP is sustainable.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2022 at 08:07 PM (#6081085)
The awful truth is that Frazier never really recovered from Absurd Jose’s curse-prediction that he would be greater than Aaron Judge. Perhaps if he signs with Boston that will somehow redeem the prophecy. I hear they could use an outfielder or two.
   9. Cblau Posted: June 10, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6081098)
I don't know what's the matter with those Yankees, keeping players who care more about winning than growing beards. Where are their priorities?
   10. Lars6788 Posted: June 10, 2022 at 11:50 PM (#6081219)
And just like that, poor Clit is DFA’d by the Cubs.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 11, 2022 at 12:22 AM (#6081225)
poor Clit is DFA’d by the Cubs.

Mento?
   12. Buck Coats Posted: June 11, 2022 at 01:01 AM (#6081227)
we're also coming up to the point where teams finally have to dump the 14th pitcher (unless they extend the deadline again)


C'mon, you know for a fact that they're going to.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 11, 2022 at 07:24 AM (#6081235)
The awful truth is that Frazier never really recovered from Absurd Jose’s curse-prediction that he would be greater than Aaron Judge.

Yeah, the Yankees got him from the Indians for Andrew Miller during the great salary dump of 2016, just a week after they got Gleyber Torres from the Cubs for a 3 month rental of Chapman. Since at the time everyone thought they'd robbed the Cubs blind by getting one of the top rated prospects in the minors for a pitcher with little remaining value in a season that was already shot, I think a lot of people just kind of assumed that a similar deal was going to turn out the same way for the Yankees. Didn't work out the way they'd hoped, but OTOH Miller himself was washed up by 2018.

   14. . . . . . . Posted: June 11, 2022 at 11:45 AM (#6081250)
You can suck, or be an #######, but you cant suck AND be an #######.
   15. Brian C Posted: June 11, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6081261)
Cubs nation is really taking the Frazier DFA unreasonably hard. Like, OK, Heyward sucks, but ... Frazier does too? As bad as Heyward's been since he signed with the Cubs, it's not like Frazier's done any better. And Heyward at least gives them a little bit more defensive flexibility. We all have Heyward fatigue, I get it, and it's a big mark against the FO that they haven't been able to improve on Heyward's very feeble production in RF over the years. But it's not hard to see the cold logical rationale for why the Cubs cut Frazier instead, given the choice between the two.

In just the last 24 hours, Frazier's "potential" has taken on legendary mythological folk-tale proportions in Cubsland, as if he's a 22-year-old prospect that the Cubs are inexplicably giving up on. And all this for a guy who has only the pandemic-shortened 2020 season to prove that he is a useful MLB player (and whose major-prospect status had faded before he ever reached the majors in the first place). Well, you know who else had a good year in 2020? Heyward, that's who.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: June 11, 2022 at 08:43 PM (#6081308)
All 4 guys the Yanks got for Miller made the majors which is pretty unusual for a deal with that many players in it. Justus Sheffield was aslo in that deal and he was supposed to be something of a ... not-quite-big deal. When all's said and done, Feyereisen might be the biggest piece. In real time, I said I'd rather give up a real player for Miller than Chapman ... they were about equally dominant at the time and Miller had 2 or 3 years left on his contract. Flags fly forever.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 11, 2022 at 09:38 PM (#6081315)
In just the last 24 hours, Frazier's "potential" has taken on legendary mythological folk-tale proportions in Cubsland, as if he's a 22-year-old prospect that the Cubs are inexplicably giving up on. And all this for a guy who has only the pandemic-shortened 2020 season to prove that he is a useful MLB player (and whose major-prospect status had faded before he ever reached the majors in the first place). Well, you know who else had a good year in 2020? Heyward, that's who.

Brian C, if it's any consolation, Yankees fans bought into that "potential" narrative for a lot longer than Cubs fans have. What made them particularly suckered in was when he turned his fielding around and made a whole slew of highlight plays in the outfield.
   18. Brian C Posted: June 12, 2022 at 04:35 PM (#6081395)
It's just weird because when he was signed, no one really cared. When he got hurt, no one really cared. Then he came back from the IL, and no one really cared.

Then he got DFA'd and it's like "NOW WE HAVE NO FUTURE!!!"
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 12, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6081402)
I can't really blame Cubs fans for acting strangely these days, especially over the past 24 hours. Being outscored by 26 to 4 could affect anyone's mental condition.
   20. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: June 13, 2022 at 11:31 AM (#6081479)
And just like that, poor Clit is DFA’d by the Cubs.


I heard the front office guys tried to serve him with his papers, but no one could find him . . .
   21. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: June 13, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6081482)
It's just weird because when he was signed, no one really cared. When he got hurt, no one really cared. Then he came back from the IL, and no one really cared.

Then he got DFA'd and it's like "NOW WE HAVE NO FUTURE!!!"


Thankfully I've missed most of the outrage.

I have no real opinion on him either, but I think the process here is absolutely worth criticizing. He had 45ABs total and only started 10 games, I don't see why that's enough for the Cubs to change their mind and give up on him. Yes, Heyward's contract and Frazier's lack of defensive ability/versatility hurt him, but it also kinda sucks to see so many guys hitting worse than him (Heyward, Midrigal, Simmons, Villar - hell, until recently his OPS+ was better than Schwindel's too). Also, as pointed out, it's kinda curious to go with 3 catchers these days (one of whom is a AAAA journeyman) unless something is imminent with Contreras.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: June 13, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6081539)
It's all Morel's fault! :-) Well sorta. Happ, Morel, Ortega, Heyward and Suzuki (who reportedly was going to be activated this past weekend but wasn't) along with an impoloding pitching staff requiring up-and-down 40-man roster moves just doesn't leave room for Frazier. I'm not sure anybody else will give him a 25-man slot and he's probably got as good a chance at a ML return with the Cubs as anybody else, so he might even accept the assignment. But sure an obvious alternative is the release of Heyward. (If the Cubs are OK with Villar at SS on occasion, then Simmons no longer serves a purpose either and, assuming he has options left, Madrigal ain't helping, which would open a spot for Morel in the IF which would also allow Frazier to stay but also mainly create playing time for Heyward in CF. Ugh.)

On the 3rd C, I suppose releasing Frazier (and demoting Rivas) means more Willson at DH so Higgins could come in handy.

Meanwhile, a day after activating him from the IL and using him for a bad inning, Sean Newcomb is DFA'd, replaced by LHP Eric Stout, who doesn't seem to have been on the 40-man.

Cubs currently have 13 pitchers, 13 position players, 5 guys on the IL and another 10 guys ... which adds to 41 ... I guess Amaya is on the minor-league IL so that gets us to 40. Anyway, off the 26-man roster, there are only 3 position guys -- Velasquez (23), Canario (22) and Rivas (25). So there's not really anybody to bring up if Higgins goes down (if they can even do that). The Cubs have a rotation mess and a tired pen and 14 straight games coming up so I'll WAG that Rucker and Leiter will get one more trip on the shuttle to help get through this stretch then at least one gets DFA'd.
   23. bfan Posted: June 13, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6081547)
I thought the Cubs were going to be a 75-85 win team this year; what happened?
   24. Ron J Posted: June 13, 2022 at 06:46 PM (#6081555)
#23 Pitching's gone generally pretty badly. Offense has been somewhere around where I'd have guessed ( with a bigger range of performances relative to expectation than usual but landing in about the expected spot as a group)
   25. Brian C Posted: June 13, 2022 at 10:38 PM (#6081599)
Pitching depth, specifically, has been a huge problem. Right now, the guy who's second on the team in IP (Thompson) has made only 6 starts, and has not gone more than 5.1 IP in any of those starts. Granted, he's also made several multi-inning appearances out of the pen, but still ... you'd generally expect your #2 IP guy to be a full-time starter after the first week or so of the season, to say nothing of 2.5 months in.

Doesn't help that their nominal ace (Hendricks) and their big free agent acquisition (Stroman) have both been mostly awful.

But yeah, like Ron J alluded to, the offense has been more or less what you'd expect from a 75-win team. They're something like 1 for their last 200 with RISP, but that's just random variance, or so we've been told for the last 5 years or so that this has been a problem for the Cubs.
   26. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 14, 2022 at 12:33 PM (#6081677)
replaced by LHP Eric Stout


Oh goody. Another career minor leaguer. 29 years old, 2.1 IP in the majors. And an impressive 2.1 IP. 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 HR, 23.14 ERA.
   27. Stop Oppressing Zonk by Investigating His Heroes Posted: June 14, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6081683)
I look at this roster and I really struggle to see who sticks around long enough to be on the next realistic playoff contender.

Morel perhaps. Maybe Marquez. Maybe Steele can carve out a Terry Mulholland-esque role.

I do like Happ and Hoerner as complimentary pieces, but I have my doubts that they'll stick around as they work through arb/FA.
   28. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6081687)
Seriously, have you ever seen a team employing so many late 20s-early 30s guys with very little to no prior MLB experience?
   29. Stop Oppressing Zonk by Investigating His Heroes Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6081690)
What, you don't fondly recall the halcyon days of Bryan LaHair? The fine-tuned pitching of Justin Germano?

Or are you longing for Freddie Bynum, John Mabry, and Neifi?

   30. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:17 PM (#6081692)
Bryan LaHair is just such a guy. 28 years old in 2011 with all of 150 PA or prior MLB experience. Bynum wasn't far off. 26 YO in 2006 with all of 7 prior MLB PAs.

What is the difference between LaHair and Schwindel other than spelling?
   31. Stop Oppressing Zonk by Investigating His Heroes Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6081693)
What is the difference between LaHair and Schwindel other than spelling?

One All-star game :-)
   32. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 14, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6081698)
Here are the ages and prior MLB experience of guys 27 or older employed by the Cubs in 2021 and/or 22. Not counting Suzuki.

These are all different players.

29 YO - 88 PA
29 - 35
31 - 288
28 - 0
30 - 381
28 - 0
27 - 0
27 - 0
28 - 0
33 - 68

30 - 99 IP
30 - 0
29 - 66
28 - 28
31 - 59
27 - 0
31 - 114
28 - 0
29 - 6

   33. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: June 14, 2022 at 08:38 PM (#6081789)
Apropos of nothing, Yan Gomes is the DH tonight. In the 5 games since Frazier was DFA'd, Contreras has started 3 games at C and 2 at DH (so every other day). Higgins hasn't started any games, but replaced Contreras late in the 18-5 blowout.
   34. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 14, 2022 at 11:41 PM (#6081846)
Wait, they also lost an 18 to 5 game to go along with Sunday's 18 to 4?
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 14, 2022 at 11:49 PM (#6081849)
What is the difference between LaHair and Schwindel other than spelling?
I think LaHair was a lefty?
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 14, 2022 at 11:51 PM (#6081850)
I thought the Cubs were going to be a 75-85 win team this year; what happened?
You got high in March and decided to predict the Cubs’ win total, apparently.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 17, 2022 at 11:21 PM (#6082642)
DOWN GOES FRAZIER:
The Cubs have outrighted Clint Frazier off their 40-man roster, after the outfielder cleared waivers. According to ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter link), Frazier has elected to accept the assignment to Triple-A Iowa, rather than elect free agency.
. . .
There was some speculation that Frazier would refuse the outright assignment and instead test the open market again, though there is logic in his decision to remain in the Cubs organization. For one, Frazier might just be looking to get some consistent playing time after his lost month, and his market surely wasn’t helped by his lack of production this far in 2022. It stands to reason that Frazier might get another chance in Chicago later in the season, should the Cubs move some veteran players prior to the trade deadline.
Would have thought free agency was the better bet, but if Frazier can hit at AAA, he’ll get a chance somewhere.

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