NEW YORK -- Clint Frazier insisted on swinging the bat as hard as he could in each of his 17 Minor League plate appearances last week, an approach that resulted in 10 strikeouts but also confidence that his strained left oblique is completely back to normal.
"I had to know," said Frazier, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Monday's game against the Rays at Citi Field. "I didn't want to go up there and baby it. I swung literally as hard as I could, as many times as I could. There's no doubt in my mind now that my oblique is healed."
The Yankees' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, Frazier missed 31 games due to the injury after being scratched from an Aug. 9 game at Toronto. The 23-year-old played in four postseason rehab games with Double-A Trenton, going 2-for-17.
"It felt weird stepping back in a box after a while," he said. "My timing was all right. The main thing I was doing down there was swinging as hard as I could to make sure that I was good. I wasn't really focused at first on an approach, and the results showed.
"For me, I needed to clear my mind of any doubt that I wasn't ready. I swung and missed enough to realize that I'm physically ready."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi plans to start Frazier on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, but for the most part, he plans to continue using the current outfield alignment of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge heavily as the team fights for postseason position.
Frazier was hitting .243/.274/.477 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 28 games after making his big league debut on July 1.
"It's been a long time," Frazier said. "It's definitely longer than I thought it would be, but everything works out the way it's supposed to be. I'm just happy to be back up here with the guys, and I'll try to contribute any way that I can."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.