Aaron Hicks gets booed as he struggles in the Yankees’ first start


April 4, 2023 | 1:45 a.m

Aaron Hicks finally got some needed playing time Monday as the player made his first start of the season, but it didn’t go as planned.

He was booed by the stadium crowd as soon as his name was announced in the lineup, and then even louder after the bunt in the bottom of the fifth, when the Yankees had a six-run lead.

It didn’t get any better when he was out in the seventh.

With Harrison Bader on the verge of a comeback from the oblique injury that has sidelined him since spring training, the Yankees’ position on the field has remained murky — and Hicks was left “definitely frustrated,” he said Saturday.

Hicks has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with his role since last season. Aaron Boone didn’t offer much clarity Monday, other than to say that Hicks was among those “fighting to play.”

When asked if he and Hicks had spoken about his displeasure with his lack of playing time, Boone said, “A little bit. We’ve had our conversations.”

Aaron Hicks hits the Yankees on Monday.
Charles Winzelberg/New York Post

Francie Cordero also got his first start of the season and the left slinger had the most hit ball of the night, with a double in the fifth inning.

“It’s mystifying,” Boone said of the 28-year-old, who is now with his fourth organization. “We got a glimpse tonight. The ball really jumps off his bat.”

The Yankees have six stolen bases in their first four games, benefiting not only from the new big bases MLB has been using this season, but also the addition of fast Anthony Volpe to the lineup.

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Boone said he expects their stolen base attempts to remain “status-based,” as they have been in the past, but “that status may have gone up now with the new rules and the new rules. We’re going to develop the best way we can.”

He also noted that despite a lack of overall speed a year earlier, the Yankees finished eighth in the majors with 102 stolen bases.

The new rules, which also limit kickoff throws to encourage more runs on the bases, “sound like a positive thing happening and it’s served us well so far and affected us well.”

With seven tries in their first four games, the Yankees got Monday on track for 283 tries over the season, which is short of 135 attempts a year ago.

Volpe and Gleiber Torres lead by three strokes each.

Right-hander Ian Hamilton joined the Yankees Monday after Johnny Brito was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

The 27-year-old Hamilton has appeared in 15 major league games over parts of the past five years, most recently with the Twins last season and went 1 ⁄ 2 scoreless innings on Monday.

After signing with the Yankees in January, Hamilton threw nine innings in spring training.

Johnny Brito plays during the Yankees’ victory over the Giants on April 2.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

Boone said the Yankees were impressed with Hamilton’s speed and quick drive, as well as his slider/changeup that Boone referred to as a “slambio”.

“It’s a good idea,” Boone said. “It has a unique movement and movement. Unique pitches are usually, for the most part, good because hitters don’t see much.”

Brito returns to the juniors from a stellar MLB debut Sunday, when the 25-year-old threw five scoreless innings against San Francisco.

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Boone said the Yankees may need a fifth start again on April 12 in Cleveland. Since this is less than 10 days from Brito’s submission, he will not be eligible to start this start.

Ron Bloomberg threw the ceremonial first pitch before Monday’s game to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the former Yankee’s transformation into the first DH in MLB history.

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