He wanted the at-bats. He wanted the regular playing time. He wanted some sort of role that wasn’t limited to random pinch hit opportunities and occasional starts by a left-handed hitter against a left-handed pitcher.
So Boesch got his wish, got to Triple-A and hit .179 in seven games.
“I went down, and I think I was a little more gung ho,” Boesch said. “And suddenly you’re down, and you realize you have a tough mental adjustment to make, probably a little tougher than I thought. … I had a positive attitude going down there, but until you get there, and you haven’t been there in a while, it’s a pretty trying experience to kind of create the same enthusiasm that you can create more easily in the big leagues. But I felt like I was on track to be able to do that, and to start to feel better about the situation, and sure enough, as soon as that happens, I’m back here.”
Boesch had just five hits, but three of them came on Thursday, in his next-to-last game before being recalled. Now it seems likely that he’ll fall back into that strange fourth-outfielder role, from which he would ideally fill in for Ichiro Suzuki, a platoon that’s complicated by both hitters being left-handed.
“I don’t expect anything,” Boesch said. “I just go about it nowadays just with my head down, taking an approach where you’re just kind of playing, and whatever happens happens, kind of thing. It’s been a roller coaster these last couple weeks, and you never know what to expect.”
It’s an odd situation, because Boesch has occasionally been a solid big leaguer — certainly not a bad option for a reserve — but there’s really no obvious way to use him on this roster, unless Ichiro Suzuki continues to struggle and the Yankees eventually give Boesch regular chances in right field.
“Obviously the circumstances in which I’m back, you never wish that on anybody,” Boesch said. “Curtis has had such a tough break this year. But I’m back here, and definitely looking forward to whatever opportunities I’m given.”
Associated Press photo