The Yankees infield has been decimated by injuries, but Aaron Boone believes Thairo Estrada can provide New York a lift while he’s in the Bronx.
Thairo Estrada isn’t a highly rated prospect in the eyes of most MLB scouts, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone isn’t worried about that. He has a lot of confidence in the 23-year-old infielder to help solve his team’s injury crisis.
Troy Tulowitzki’s groin injury caused the Yankees to give Estrada his fist call-up to the major leagues on Wednesday night. He’s expected to provide depth at second base, shortstop and third base until the team gets some of their starters healthy again. Ordinarily, the idea of calling up the organization’s No. 19 prospect due to injury would give a manager real cause for concern.
That’s not the case for Boone when it comes to Estrada. He believe he has the tools to “play in the big leagues for a long time.” The Yankees front office didn’t expect his career to start nearly so soon, but as the last healthy infielder left on the team’s 40-man roster there wasn’t much choice when it came to bringing him up to the majors this week.
In fairness to Estrada, he lost almost all of his 2018 season after suffering a gun shot wound to his hip during a botched robbery attempt in his home country of Venezuela. The recovery from that injury limited the versatile infielder to just 18 games in the minors last season.
The good news is that Estrada looked much better for the Yankees this spring. He acquitted himself with a quality batting average of .286 in 33 appearances during Spring Training. He also showed the ability to handle multiple infield positions adequately in the field. That should make him a very valuable bench player for the Yankees in the short-term.
The Yankees don’t need Estrada to be a star, but they do need him to be a spark considering the team’s ugly 2-4 start. If he can find a way to carve out some hits and play solid defense he may be able to significantly extend his stay in the Bronx this season. The next few weeks will represent a massive opportunity for a player Boone has a lot of confidence in.