Yankees OF Clint Frazier will tell it how it is: It's frustrating being down in Triple-A.
Frazier was called up again to the big leagues, and this time around, it isn't just to be the 26th man. He is here to stay, but how long is the question. He is with the team due to Brett Gardner nursing a sore knee, and he will likely be sent back down once that pain is alleviated.
The 23-year-old is raking in Triple-A this season with a .312/.389/.558 slash line with seven homers and 11 RBI over 38 games. He could certainly be making contributions at the major league level with those types of numbers, but with the Yankees boasting a stacked outfield, Frazier has been the odd man out.
"It's in the back of your mind every time you turn the TV on or every time you walk in the stadium down there [at Triple-A]," Frazier told ESPN's Coley Harvey. "It's hard not to be unhappy about the situation, but I'm just happy now that I've got a change of scenery."
And because that change of scenery comes only when the Yankees desperately need someone to fill their roster, Frazier joked that he should be given an award he made up on the spot.
"I'm the 26th Man of the Year," he said.
Frazier isn't the only Yankee that is frustrated with waiting their turn in Triple-A. Brandon Drury, who hit the DL after migraines and blurry-vision issues, has also been crushing pitching in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has a .360/.470/.529 slash line with three homers and 23 RBI.
He also voiced his frustrations with staying stagnant in Triple-A, telling The Athletic last week, "I don't belong down here at all."
For the Yankees, it is a good problem to have when players like Frazier and Drury can't find consistent playing time with the big league club. However, these players can be everyday guys elsewhere, which is why GM Brian Cashman acknowledged they don't belong down in the minors.
In Frazier's case, Cashman said he would be "crushing it up here, whether it be for us or somewhere else." He was much more to the point when asked about Drury saying, "Obviously Brandon Drury doesn't belong down there."
The frustration may be apparent, but Frazier has been dealing with it the same way Drury has. Frazier has learned an important lesson from the 25-year-old utility infielder, and he will continue to carry it until his real chance -- with or somewhere other than the Yankees -- comes.
"Drury told me the other day he has a quote on his phone or something that says, 'Sometimes when you think you're buried, try to change your mind and realize you've been planted,' " Frazier said. "He's planted there for a reason, and he's got a cool mindset.
"Everyone's chances will come."
As Frazier travels back to the Bronx with the Yankees, he will look to make the best of this chance -- no matter how long it lasts.