As the New York Yankees begin to get healthier, they must utilize the talents of their sneakily good fill-ins to the best of their ability.
The Yankees are playing great baseball right now. They’ve won 11 of their last 13, with practically a glorified Triple-A team. This is of course due to the heavy load of injuries to the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and so many more. The team has been showing off their depth, as this recent run has been led by Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and many non-household names like Gio Urshela, Clint Frazier (now injured as well), and D.J. LeMahieu.
Obviously, though, looking ahead, this team is going to get healthy. Andujar could be back this weekend against the Twins, Frazier probably sometime next week, and Hicks is on his way as well. As our bigger names return, it’s important that the Yanks front office finds suitable places for all of the players that have proven themselves in the month of April.
Frazier was an absolute stud before getting injured, leading the team hitting wise in that span. He’s hit .324 with a .975 OPS and 4 homers. Frazier was the fill-in for Stanton, who should be back by June. Some may suggest he stays for depth. While I would be happy with that, there are so many other ways to utilize his value. Many teams would be interested in him, so why not trade him for a playoff proven pitcher (cough cough MadBum).
New York’s pitching staff has been solid, but none of our guys have proven themselves to be an ace in October. The Giants are 11-17 and are in no shape to contend. The Yankees could offer Frazier, and some other lesser prospects and possibly make the deal. Bumgarner put together possibly the greatest playoff pitching performance we have ever seen in 2014, and though he’s aged, he represents the best possible trade for the Yankees by a mile.
Miguel Andujar is on his way back likely in the next week, which makes Urshela the odd man out. New York can and will retain Urshela on the roster, by likely sending down Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada. Urshela has been spectacular recently, but I wouldn’t say he has proven himself. He’s still a mediocre guy, who doesn’t have much value. YET.
He could absolutely go on a run and prove me wrong. I understand New York has a crowded infield, but I would do anything I can to keep him on the roster as a depth player. Give him a shot, at least. In August, when, hopefully, they’re healthy, their dream infield would be Voit at 1B, Gleyber at second, Didi at short and Andujar at third. That leaves DJ, Gio, and Tulo to come off the bench. I know the front office is entertaining Miggy at DH, and while that could happen, I believe that’s just preliminary until he feels good about fielding so I still imagine Andujar at third come fall.
This was the biggest surprise for me so far this season. If you remember, German dazzled last year during his first start, by no-hitting the Indians before being pulled in the sixth. It obviously went down from there, and he didn’t have a great year, but it wasn’t awful. He had a great first start this year, and I was kind of expecting the same thing to happen again, where he fizzles out. That has absolutely not happened. He leads the majors in wins, at 5-1. He has a 2.78 ERA, which took a big hit after his rough 6th inning on Sunday vs. the Giants.
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He obviously was slid into the rotation due to CC Sabathia’s and Severino’s absence. CC came back, and he rightfully stayed in the rotation. It’s looking like they still have some time waiting for Sevy to return, so they’ll have to see if Domingo keeps this up. And if German does, I plead that the Yankees keep him as a starter. A six-man rotation could work for this club, and New York needs all the pitching they can get.