TAMPA — “I’m going to be careful how I word it, because I don’t want to stir anything,” Clint Frazier prefaced a comment on Friday morning, and that, friends, marks progress.
I had asked Frazier, once again fighting for a Yankees roster spot, whether he had eyed the competition and tried to calculate his chances. Chances that naturally improve now that each major-league roster will carry a 26th player, as per a collectively bargained change.
“At one point, I was starting left field (for the Yankees),” the outfielder went on at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “And then at another point, I was starting left field in (Triple-A) Scranton. I have my eyes on that other spot (starting for Yankees).
“…So I think this spring training, if I could go out there and I do what I can do offensively and I do what I know that I can defensively, then maybe I’ll put myself in a different spot to not only focus on the 26th man.”
Consider this the 2.0 version of comments — more respectful and refined — that Frazier made a year ago about going after Brett Gardner’s starting left field job. Gardner currently will start in center field as Aaron Hicks rehabilitates…