In his first game back at Yankee Stadium facing his old team, Aaron Hicks took some vengeful hacks at the baseball, fought off some tough pitches and went 1-4 with a single to right field off a change up in the 8th inning off a 3-3 game.
Any questions about what would happen to Hicks when Cedric Mullins returned to the lineup was answered as Hicks hit seventh, right behind Mullins, who gave B-More an early 1-0 lead with a single in the top of the second inning.
Hicks Gets A Hit Against Yankees
After starting the game 0-for-3, the vindication Hicks had been looking for poured down like the rain drops that temporarily followed after he reached base.
Now that he got his hit, the icing on the case would be a win that would push the Yankees further back in the AL East standings.
The Yankees designated the struggling Hicks for assignment on May 20th, the division-rival O’s signed the multi-tool baller to a major league contract following his departure from the Yankees. In a corresponding roster move, Mullins landed on the 10-day IL due to a right groin strain.
Hicks wasn’t getting the job done as a Yankees player, but even Bronx Bomber manager Aaron Boone had to admit that it was tough to let a player with Hicks’ talent go.
Hicks earned a 7-year $70 extension with the team in 2019, but never lived up to the expectations that came with a deal of that magnitude.
In the four years post signing, Hicks’ batting average never got above .235. He hit an abysmal .194 in 2021 then followed that up with just a .216 average last year. This season in 76 plate appearances for the Yankees, Hicks hit .188 with a .263 on base percentage.
Aaron Hicks in 2023
Yankees 76 PA: .188/.263/.261
Orioles 72 PA: .306/.403/.581
The O’s Magic is different 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xpPdDVjnsQ
— 𝙆𝙣𝘽 (@kazknowsball) June 25, 2023
It will be even tougher to digest if Hicks continues to be twice the all-around player than he was during the end of his roller-coaster Yankees tenure.
Since joining Baltimore, Hicks has had a resurgence of sorts. His batting average is still hovering below .230 but he’s had some productive stretches while filling in for Mullins, which suggests he’s ready to return to a starter’s role.
Harrison Bader Spoils Hicks’ Return
Harrison Bader would make Hicks’ return to the Bronx bitter-sweet with a three-run blast in the bottom of the 8th inning that propelled the Yankees to a 6-3 victory. The Yankees currently stand three games behind Baltimore for the Wild Card spot as the All-Star break approaches. They are not in bad shape considering the loss of Aaron Judge and the team’s offensive struggles.
But Hicks will get a couple more chances in the next three games of this four-game series to hurt the Yankees’ playoff hopes and make them pay for giving up on him after investing in him as a cornerstone piece of their future.