Miguel Andujar has been a non-factor for the Yankees since returning to the lineup, and Aaron Boone believes it’s because the infielder is still injured.
Yankees fans were excited when Miguel Andujar returned to the lineup early after suffering a torn labrum, but he’s been a complete drag on the team. Manager Aaron Boone believes his third baseman’s injured shoulder is still wreaking havoc on his performance.
The second-year manager is anxious for Andujar to get some additional “tests/imaging” on that shoulder as soon as possible. It’s very likely that will equal another stint on the Injured List for Andujar. Time will tell whether or not the doctors ultimately decide he needs to undergo surgery to repair his torn labrum.
There can be no question that something is amiss with last year’s Rookie of the Year runner-up. He’s hitting a dismal .128 at the plate with just a single run and RBI to his credit. That’s a far cry from the doubles machine that Andujar was for the Yankees during his rookie campaign. He’s the closest thing the team has to an automatic out at the moment.
There was some discussion that Andujar would be sent back to AAA to make room for Aaron Hicks’ return to the active roster but that was never a logical consideration for the team’s front office. Swapping Hicks for Andujar would have left Boone short an infield reserve. That’s why Mike Tauchman, an outfielder, was optioned back to the minors to open up a spot for Hicks in a like-for-like swap.
Expect the Yankees to treat Andujar’s mental and physical well-being with a lot of caution in the coming weeks. The emergence of Gio Urshela as a quality player at third base gives the team a legitimate alternative to Andujar in the short-term. GM Brian Cashman and company will use that luxury to afford Andujar every opportunity to get back to his best. They value him as a long-term asset regardless of how he’s played this season.
If Andujar does go on the IL soon, it will likely allow Tyler Wade a chance to return to the Major League roster. His versatility in the infield will give Boone the maximum amount of versatility moving forward.
The key for the Yankees is to get Andujar back to his best. The organization would love for that to happen quickly, but the reality is it could take quite a while. It’s possible 2019 is poised to go down as a lost season for the young third baseman.