Miguel Andujar’s labrum injury may drastically impact his future. The Yankees are contemplating a position switch to get him back in the lineup.
One look at the Yankees current starting lineup makes it clear they could use the return of a big bat. Miguel Andujar certainly qualifies. The organization is considering a big change to the infielder’s future to help get him back in the batting order as soon as possible.
According to Bob Klapsich of the New York Times, the Yankees are “toying” with the idea of bringing Andujar back to the active roster as a first baseman/designated hitter. The idea is that throwing across the diamond from third base might turn his small labrum tear into a much more serious injury. Obviously, playing at first or DHing would prevent him from needing to make nearly as many throws.
If Andujar was a gold glove third baseman this idea wouldn’t be making the rounds in the team’s front office. As it stands, Andujar was one of the weakest fielding players at the hot corner in all of MLB last season. Some thought that might cause him to move to left field or first base even before he suffered his labrum injury.
The Yankees also would be less inclined to consider this drastic shift if they were playing better baseball this season. Manager Aaron Boone has guided the team to an 8-10 start which isn’t awful when you consider how many injuries he’s been forced to deal with. Even so, that kind of record isn’t acceptable in New York. Cashman and company want things turned around immediately.
The lack of production from first base has also been an issue for the offense’s struggles. Greg Bird was only hitting .171 in 10 games before he headed to the Injured List. Luke Voit has enjoyed some moments of brilliance, but his performance overall has been pretty mediocre. He’s got four home runs and 15 RBIs on the season but his .213 batting average illustrates his struggles at the plate.
The emergence of Gio Urshela as a competent third baseman may also be impacting the team’s thinking. He doesn’t have star potential, but he’s played well defensively and he’s been adequate at the plate. Urshela doesn’t have any power, but he does put the ball in play. Ironically, his .261 batting average is better than either of the team’s primary first basemen to date.
The idea that Andujar might give up on playing third base so early in his career could still have a drastic negative impact on his long-term value for the Yankees. That’s why the team will wait as long as possible to pull the trigger on such a monumental change.
The best case scenario for Yankees fans is still that Andujar will return to the lineup soon at third base. Coming back at another position will strengthen the team’s lineup in the short-term, but it will lower Andujar’s value for the team in the future.