Twins get reminder of what Hicks can do

Outfielder hits sacrifice fly, turns double play with strong throw in Yanks' win

Twins get reminder of what Hicks can do

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Aaron Hicks dug into the batter's box and glanced back at catcher John Ryan Murphy during the Yankees' 6-4 win against the Twins on Sunday. Swapped for each other this past offseason, their paths were crossing again in the top of the first inning, but the resulting conversation wasn't particularly deep.

"Mostly it's about how you like it over there, how you like it over here, how different it is in clubhouses," Hicks said. "Just being on a different team, especially when we knew each other coming up through the Minor Leagues and now we got traded for each other. It's pretty cool."

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Both players and their teams seem happy thus far with the swap, with the Yankees planning to play Hicks in the outfield three or four times a week while the Twins groom Murphy as a future everyday catcher. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he has liked what Hicks has shown in camp.

"The flexibility that he gives us, defensively and offensively," Girardi said. "[He's a] switch-hitter, can really play the outfield, can really throw."

Hicks wasted little time offering his old Minnesota teammates a reminder of his talent, uncorking a strong throw to third base to cut down Eddie Rosario and complete a double play in the fourth inning. He finished 0-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and a walk.

Hicks makes double play

"It was a lot of fun. To see the guys again, to see the staff, everybody from the guy out front at the gate to the coaches and staff of Minnesota," Hicks said. "It was a lot of fun, especially competing against the guys I came up with and played with last year."

Hicks said that while he has sensed differences between the Twins and Yankees, the two clubs have their share of similarities as well, particularly in the area of veteran leadership.

"Last year when I was there, they had Torii Hunter, who was one of the best, and Joe Mauer, he's definitely a good one, too," Hicks said. "Especially when you want to talk hitting with a guy like that. Media, too; there are more media guys [with the Yanks]. It's just a lot of stuff, little things that make the difference."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.