With the emergence of Gio Urshela last year, Miguel Andujar became somewhat of an afterthought as he recovered from season ending shoulder surgery. Andujar came into spring training back in March fully healthy, but the third base job was Urshela’s to lose.
In an effort to get his bat in the lineup more frequently, the Yankees had Andujar take some reps in the outfield in spring training.
Since then, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks have all gotten healthy. Add in Mike Tauchman, Brett Gardner and even Clint Frazier and possibly Tyler Wade, and it’s increasingly difficult to see where Andujar fits in.
When the roster was released recently for what’s being called “Summer Camp”, Andujar was listed under “infielders/outfielders.”
On Wednesday, Aaron Boone spoke about Andujar and how he might be used.
“We know in Miggy that we’ve got a very good player,” Boone said. “He’s obviously a guy who missed the bulk of last season, but came into spring training and showed us that he was healthy, showed us a willingness to play a couple of positions because he wants to get in the lineup.”
Andujar looked comfortable in the outfield, and Boone said he certainly “added some versatility to the mix.”
“He’s still new at it and there’s a lot of growth to be had there, but I do feel like it is something he’ll be able to do and that’ll give him even more of an opportunity to get on the field,” Boone added.
“We’ve got to get through the early days of spring training and kind of evaluate just where our guys are physically, what kind of workload they’re able to handle as camp unfolds, then as the regular season starts.”
In the early going, the outfield could be shuffled around until Judge and Hicks put concerns about their past injuries to rest. Stanton will likely see action mostly at DH.
Of course, with the Yankees’ history in recent years, injuries will occur, opening doors for other players to step in. Boone knows full well what can happen with crowded rosters.
“These things have a way of playing themselves out and declaring themselves as we go along,” he said.