Yankees: Are the callups a band aid or a sign of panic?

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees have lost three games in a row after winning six in a row. They’ve reached down and called up some players. Are they band aids to fix temporary issues or a sign that Brian Cashman is ready to hit the fire alarm?

The Yankees already have gotten off to a poor start on their singular West Coast trip of the season losing three in a row to the lowly Angels and A’s. And suddenly, the team looks like the American League’s version of the New York Mets getting hit with an unexpected rash of injuries that has caused Brian Cashman to make some adjustments in the team’s composition.

And just the other day, I wrote a story that argued that as long as the Yankees keep winning, there’s no reason for them to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. The only thing is, of course, that argument works in reverse as well.

Now, NJ.com reports that:

"On Thursday night, catcher Gary Sanchez (abductor muscle) and center fielder Aaron Hicks (Achilles) left the game feeling sore in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics.And, reliever Adam Warren was unavailable Thursday due to a sore “trap” muscle in his pitching arm."

Put this together with another Yanks Go Yard report that Greg Bird has been shut down again in his off-again-on-again attempts to recover from a (now mysterious) ankle injury, and the hamstring injury suffered by CC Sabathia, you have the makings of an all-out war on injuries.

The Yankees are not quite the Mets yet, but they’re sure working up a challenge. And the fact that it’s come so suddenly for the Yankees, a team that was cruising along through three-eighths of the season, is at least a concern at this point.

The question, though, is this. Is it enough to push Brian Cashman over the edge, and will he abandon his Master Plan for this season?

Cashman answers with………

The Yankees made two callups today to put a finger in the dike. The retrieved Mason Williams to fill the outfield gap caused by Hicks and (still) Ellsbury, and they also recalled catcher Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

But while Higashioka is having a good season at Triple-A (.326 BA,383 OBP), his brief tenure with the Yankees this season produced zero hits in twenty at-bats. Which means that the Yankees may or may not have a qualified back-up to their very skilled and proven backup catcher, Austin Romine.

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Which in turn means that Cashman will be following the injury to Gary Sanchez closely, and if things don’t go well, he may need to turn to the outside market to fill the gap.

The call-up of Williams, on the other hand, is not a stop-gap solution as Williams has experience with the team as opposed to the more popular choices of Clint Frazier or Dustin Fowler. Nevertheless, experience alone cannot negate his weak showing so far this season (.243 BA and a woeful .275 slugging average).

And there are no answers yet on………..

Still to be decided is what to do about first base, if anything, with Bird going through whatever he’s going through, plus an announcement regarding who is going to replace Sabathia when his turn comes around over the weekend.

This is all a lot for a team to deal with in the space of only a week. But if you ask someone like Terry Collins, manager of the New York Mets, he might only smile and say, “Welcome to the club.” Adding on perhaps, “deal with it, it’s baseball.”

So, at this juncture of the season, one would have to say that this is the first real test the Yankees have faced. Yes, they had injuries before with Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius going down for extended periods of time. But, they also had adequate replacements in line to move the line forward in Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine.

This is when we’ll see the true intentions of the organization for the 2017 season. Do they go with the band aids they currently have in place or do they enter the free market, abandoning their Master Plan to hold the line on trades and the players they have in their system?

Or, do they hit the “on” switch to become both buyers and sellers in the coming weeks?