Clint Frazier voices frustration after spending majority of season at Triple-A

WASHINGTON -- Clint Frazier feels fortunate to wear his New York Yankees uniform again for the next couple of days, but he was frank Monday when asked about his growing frustration with spending the bulk of the season at Triple-A.

"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]," the 23-year-old outfielder said. "It's hard not to be unhappy about the situation, but I'm just happy now that I've got a change of scenery."

Frazier, who has played in 42 games at the minor league level this season, was called up to the big league club Monday as the Yankees visited the Washington Nationals.

The Yankees and Nationals finished off a game that was suspended in the sixth inning May 15 (with Washington winning 5-3) and made up another -- a May 16 rainout -- that evening (with the Yankees winning 4-2).

Frazier was on the 25-man roster for both weather-affected games last month, and he has appeared in three other major league contests this season. Although the Yankees plan to bring him back to New York for a three-game home series with the Seattle Mariners beginning Tuesday, Frazier likely will be back at Triple-A in a few days. His presence this week is to give the Yankees an additional outfielder as Brett Gardner rests a sore knee. The team isn't anticipating that Gardner will go on the disabled list.

Because he has mostly been called up to give the Yankees some added roster depth due to either doubleheaders or long stretches of games without days off, Frazier jokingly gave himself an award Monday.

"I'm the 26th Man of the Year," he said.

While the comment elicited laughs from reporters, it belied some deeper feelings he and other players are sharing in Triple-A.

"We've been, all of us, have been hanging out and trying to cope with the feeling of being down there every night," Frazier said.

Last week, Triple-A third baseman Brandon Drury told The Athletic: "I don't belong down here at all."

After a minor league rehab assignment April 25 while dealing with problems related to blurred vision, Drury was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 14. Although his vision issue has cleared and he's fully healthy, he has been down there ever since.

At Triple-A, Drury has been hitting well. In 39 games, he has batted. 360 with four homers, 12 doubles, 25 RBIs and a .976 OPS. He also has gotten defensive work at first base in an effort of continuing to showcase a measure of in-field versatility.

On Monday, he earned International League Player of the Week honors.

Like Drury, Frazier has excelled at Triple-A. In 38 games there, he's batting .312 with seven home runs, 11 doubles, 11 RBIs and a .947 OPS.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hears and understands their frustrations. Last weekend, Cashman told reporters he recognized that Frazier would be "crushing it up here, whether it be for us or somewhere else." He added, "Obviously Brandon Drury doesn't belong down there."

The past two seasons, Drury was an everyday starter for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded to the Yankees at the start of spring training.

"You tell them to try not to let this affect how you go about your business because that'll just make things worse while you're going through it," Cashman said. "And see what happens. Force your way back up here, see what's going on up here, wait for the injury to hit."

It was Drury's vision problems that forced rookie Miguel Andujar to play third while Drury spent time on the DL. Andujar got hot, collecting a bevy of extra-base hits. He leads the Yankees in doubles with 22, is tied for the team lead with two triples and has eight home runs.

Frustrated as Drury might be, he has a patient approach that Frazier has started trying to follow himself.

"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."