Cusick Finding His Way In Pinstripes

Around this time last year, the Houston Astros traded Matt Cusick for the Yankees' LaTroy Hawkins. Cusick left the Houston's low-A team, Lexington Legends, and joined the high-A Tampa Yankees. Cusick said there was somewhat of an adjustment period involving rehabbing an injury upon his arrival and now he's carving a role for himself as a possible utility player.

The infielder's start in the Florida State League was hindered when he had a herniated disk in his back. The injury, which lasted three weeks, allowed Cusick only had 20 at-bats last year.

"It helped me get my feet wet to kind of know what the league is like," he said. "It's a different league. It's so hot and we don't get a lot of fans. So going in the offseason, it helped me to really figure out what's in store for the following year."

Cusick said it took rest and rehab, specifically core strengthening, to get to 100 percent again. Since then Cusick has gotten well accustomed to this league.

"I got traded at the deadline and it was a little weird at first. It was like my first ‘welcome to professional ball moment,'" Cusick said. "It's business.

"I understand the Astros did what they have to do, but you know with Louis Sojo here — he's a real laid-back manager and he made the adjustment easy for me. The guys in the clubhouse, too."

At the beginning of this season, Cusick alternated between second and third baseman. Now, he is spending most of his time as a designated hitter.

After going 3-5 on Wednesday, Cusick has a .316 batting average. So far this season, he has posted 14 doubles, 3 triples, 27 runs and one home run. He's stolen five bases and made it to base on walks 25 times.

"Offensively, I just try to put the ball in play. I walk a lot and I try not to strike out. That's kind of my thing," Cusick said. "Just put the ball in play and good things happen. I bunt a lot."

Cusick said he focuses on getting RBI's — 17 this season — for the middle of the batting order.

Cusick said he is happy with the numbers he's putting up, but he would like to hit with a little more power. He said he wants to continue improving the approach he's learned — have a high on-base percentage, work the pitch counts, and hit the ball the other way as a strength.

Cusick said he hopes he is opening some eyes in the organization.

"I just play my game. I hope that they take note, but I can't really control what they do," he said. "I know there's a lot of good players in the Yankees' organization.

"It's stacked at every position. Whenever I get my chance, I just play hard and do the best I can and hopefully they like me."

Cusick said his versatility as a player could be a key in opening some opportunities in the organization.

"I've never played the outfield, but they also said it could be a possibility. Second, third, maybe even shortstop," he said. "You know a left-handed hitter — that's like your typical utility player."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nThe infielder's start in the Florida State League was hindered when he had a herniated disk in his back. The injury, which lasted three weeks, allowed Cusick only had 20 at-bats last year.
\r\n
\r\n\"It helped me get my feet wet to kind of know what the league is like,\" he said. \"It's a different league. It's so hot and we don't get a lot of fans. So going in the offseason, it helped me to really figure out what's in store for the following year.\"
\r\n
\r\nCusick said it took rest and rehab, specifically core strengthening, to get to 100 percent again. Since then Cusick has gotten well accustomed to this league.
\r\n
\r\n\"I got traded at the deadline and it was a little weird at first. It was like my first ‘welcome to professional ball moment,'\" Cusick said. \"It's business.
\r\n
\r\n\"I understand the Astros did what they have to do, but you know with Louis Sojo here — he's a real laid-back manager and he made the adjustment easy for me. The guys in the clubhouse, too.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt the beginning of this season, Cusick alternated between second and third baseman. Now, he is spending most of his time as a designated hitter.
\r\n
\r\nAfter going 3-5 on Wednesday, Cusick has a .316 batting average. So far this season, he has posted 14 doubles, 3 triples, 27 runs and one home run. He's stolen five bases and made it to base on walks 25 times.
\r\n
\r\n\"Offensively, I just try to put the ball in play. I walk a lot and I try not to strike out. That's kind of my thing,\" Cusick said. \"Just put the ball in play and good things happen. I bunt a lot.\"
\r\n
\r\nCusick said he focuses on getting RBI's — 17 this season — for the middle of the batting order.
\r\n
\r\nCusick said he is happy with the numbers he's putting up, but he would like to hit with a little more power. He said he wants to continue improving the approach he's learned — have a high on-base percentage, work the pitch counts, and hit the ball the other way as a strength.
\r\n
\r\nCusick said he hopes he is opening some eyes in the organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just play my game. I hope that they take note, but I can't really control what they do,\" he said. \"I know there's a lot of good players in the Yankees' organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's stacked at every position. Whenever I get my chance, I just play hard and do the best I can and hopefully they like me.\"
\r\n
\r\nCusick said his versatility as a player could be a key in opening some opportunities in the organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've never played the outfield, but they also said it could be a possibility. Second, third, maybe even shortstop,\" he said. \"You know a left-handed hitter — that's like your typical utility player.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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