Yankees OF Clint Frazier's season likely over, says Aaron Boone

ByColey Harvey ESPN logo
Thursday, September 6, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. -- After a visit this week to a Pittsburgh-area neurologist to better understand his lingering post-concussive symptoms, New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier's season is effectively over.

Manager Aaron Boone said before Wednesday's Yankees game with theAthleticsat Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum that it is "unlikely" the 24-year-old outfielder will be an option for the Yankees for the remainder of the year.

Sent back to the Yankees' facility in Tampa, Florida, following the visit, Frazier will resume workouts and undergo treatments that might help stem the symptoms that have popped up from time to time since he hit his head on an outfield wall in spring training.

"Just trying to really hone in and getting the best program in place that we can for him to start getting him back on track for good," Boone said. "Hopefully, this is a step in that direction."

Frazier was hurt in a spring training game in late February when he drifted back for a fly ball. As he awkwardly went up for the catch, Frazier's head made contact with the wall. Originally, he was said to have a "mild concussion," and a reasonably quick return was expected.

It didn't happen that way. He was mostly limited in his baseball activities over the remainder of spring training.

Placed on the seven-day disabled list on Opening Day, Frazier didn't begin a rehab assignment until late April. Then, after bouncing back and forth between the Yankees' big league roster and their farm system over the following few weeks, he was playing at Baltimorewith the Yankees in the middle of July.

While running between second and third base in a game that week, he made contact withOriolesthird baseman Jace Peterson. A couple of days later, after already having been sent back to the minor leagues, he went on the Yankees' seven-day disabled list. According to the team, the collision with Peterson brought about post-concussive migraines.

Since July 26, Frazier has been working his way back from that DL stint. Since mid-August, he had been doing a rehab assignment with the Yankees' affiliate in Tampa, and he was about to be moved up to Double-A Trenton in time for this week's Eastern League playoffs.

That's when, once again, symptoms from the concussion returned.

"It's been a year of trying to get our hands around what's going on with him and trying to get him moving in the right direction with momentum," Boone said. "Hopefully, this [the instruction from the Pittsburgh neurologist] is a step in that direction.

"We know there's a lot of talent that he possesses ... and we still believe he'll be a very important part of our franchise going forward."

Had Frazier been healthy this whole time, he likely would have been a valuable piece for the Yankees, as they've been negotiating life without Aaron Judge. The Yankees have been missing Judge since he went on the DL July 27 due to a chip fracture of his right wrist.

After first outlining a three-week recovery for Judge, the outfielder is just now -- nearly six weeks later -- showing signs of true progress. He swung a bat Monday for the first time since his injury, and he has continued that throughout the week.

Judge hit off a tee for a third straight day Wednesday, and he also took some soft toss, Boone said.

"Another positive step forward," the manager added. "He responded well [from Monday and Tuesday], felt good, was able to pop the ball. We'll continue that through the weekend with the soft toss, and he may get in the cage at some point, but he's feeling better."

With Judge inching closer to a return, the Yankees are even closer to bringing back fellow injured position playerDidi Gregorius. The shortstop is on track to be activated Friday, when the Yankees open a three-game series at theSeattle Mariners, Boone said.