Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Miguel Andujar Wants To Return, and Possibly Can

Kristi Ackert of the Daily News reports that Miguel Andujar wants to return this season, and may do that as a DH-only.

In the article, Dr. John Kelly, an expert on shoulder injuries in athletes, notes that due to which shoulder Miguel's labrum tear is in, it's entirely possible that he can return and hit as normal. Throwing, on the other hand, will be more difficult.

In looking at the possible regular lineup with Andujar as it's DH, I think the team would be very good. Not only would their offense be better, but their defense would improve as well since LeMahieu would be their regular third baseman.

Not that I don't see some problems if this were to happen.

For starters, having a DH-only on the team is not ideal. As good as he was, I didn't like having DH-only Hideki Matsui in the regular lineup. With only having a three man bench it's nice that every guy can step on the field if something happens. Could Andujar at least fake it at third base if needed? Maybe, but his defense was already suspect.

Secondly, along with the likely returns of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks, there are some very tough decisions to make for the active roster. They need a backup catcher around, so Austin Romine will be there. And I highly doubt Brett Gardner will go anywhere, so he's a lock as the backup outfielder on the bench. The fact that Gardner is not a zero on offense, and can play well anywhere in the outfield, will keep him in New York. The last spot would not be as clear.

Although I think sending him to Scranton wouldn't be a bad thing, the Yankees could miss out on seeing if they have the second coming of "Luke Voit" in Mike Tauchman. Of course, since it's not like all those guys would return tomorrow, Tauchman will have the opportunity to show us what we'd miss in him... if anything.

I think Gardner being the fourth outfielder will also make the Yankees send Clint Frazier back to AAA, as well. I really want to see if Frazier can live up to his expectations as a prospect, but I just don't see how that could happen. The active roster is just not big enough. Like I said earlier today... he's destined to be traded.

If the Yankees can get by with seven relievers instead of eight, then they'd be set. But history tells me they'll stay with a three man bench, making this final decision a real toughie...

Tyler Wade or Greg Bird?

On the surface this question may seem easy... keep Greg Bird. But when you look harder at the position factor I think you have to go with Tyler. Sure, if Andujar can at least fake it at third base (kinda like what he did last year, anyway), then that would make it okay to keep Bird in MLB. That way either Miguel would play third base should LeMahieu go down, or DJ would cover for Tulo or Torres should they get hurt while again Andujar goes to third base.

That case would be idea because without Bird the team doesn't have a real backup first baseman. However, even with very few innings under his belt there, LeMahieu can move over there. Or maybe 1B is a spot Andujar could move to since he won't be asked to throw much at all there.

The only way in this scenario that I see Bird sticking around is if he turns it on and finally gives the team what they've been waiting for with his bat. Otherwise this is what I see happening. And you know what? I like it.

1. Hicks CF
2. Judge RF
3. Stanton LF
4. Voit 1B
5. Andujar DH
6. Sanchez C
7. Torres SS
8. Tulowitzki SS
9. LeMahieu 3B

Gardner OF
Wade 2B/SS/OF
Romine C

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