Yankees: New kids on the block shine; Dustin Fowler on the way
Getting their first big league starts, prospects Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar showed why the Yankees farm system is regarded as one of the games best.
Remember last season, when the Yankees were lying in the weeds, and they decided to infiltrate the major league roster with a handful of promising young players? Well, all that did was keep the club in contention well into September.
So then it should come as no surprise that a similar jumpstart would come in the form of another slew of Baby Bombers heading to the Bronx.
With injuries and ineffective play dictating the projected course of this season, fans should expect even more fresh faces to don the pinstripes in the coming days — as Tyler Austin and his worsening right hamstring injury may very well join Matt Holliday on the 10-day DL.
In covert fashion, No. 8 prospect Dustin Fowler was mysteriously pulled from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre’s doubleheader on Wednesday in Syracuse.
When asked as to why a 22-year-old who’s hitting .293 with 13 home runs, 43 RBI and 13 stolen bases wasn’t available to play, manager Al Pedrique responded by saying that Fowler was fine, and how the situation was “out of his hands.”
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Assuming Fowler is indeed on his way to the show, manager Joe Girardi will no longer have to deploy Tyler Wade in left field — as he can continue platooning with Ronald Torreyes at second base.
Fowler is an accomplished defender, and if my calculations are correct, will soon become the next great Yankee center fielder (metrics state that Clint Frazier is better suited for a corner outfield spot).
Jacoby Ellsbury received the night off on Wednesday because he obviously needed a breather after returning late last week from his own lengthy DL stint. Yeesh!
To make room for Fowler on the 40-man roster, the organization can either move Glass… Greg Bird to the 60-day DL or DFA a guy like Rob Refsnyder.
As for who will man first base until Austin returns to action, it’ll most likely be Austin Romine, who went 1-for-2 with three walks on Wednesday night. Just so long as Chris Carter doesn’t return to the club after clearing waivers and accepting a Triple-A assignment.
For those clamoring for a trade to boost the Yanks’ chances at a playoff run, I’m almost certain the moves we’re witnessing are a sign that no transactions of the sort will take place.
As I recently reminded people on Twitter, this season has always been about the future. The Yankees got out of the gate strong — allowed an inconsistent starting rotation to put immense pressure on what used to be a strong bullpen — and then the unforeseen occurred, injuries.
It’s not like the Yankees are the only MLB team dealing with a MASH unit. Look around the league. Guys are dropping left and right (Mets, Angles, Giants, Cubs).
Luckily, the strength of the farm system is finally being used the correct way — to lessen the burden of lost starters in the majors. Not only that, but these kids are performing up to their top prospect billing!
On Wednesday against the Pale Hose, Miguel Andujar set a Yankee record with three hits and four RBI in his major league debut. Wade recorded his first career hit, a sixth-inning RBI double — and Aaron Judge (who is still indeed a rookie) smashed his 27th home run of the season — now reaching base in 30 straight games.
Andujar will likely see the brunt of his playing time at DH, as his defense is still a bit raw. However, all the physical tools are there for him to become a solid infielder, highlighted by his 95 mph throwing arm.
After a long, arduous dry spell the Yankees are once again exciting.
Imagine the club calling upon Chance Adams and/or Justus Sheffield to bolster the rotation. Don’t say it’s not possible because of limited time at a certain level of the minors.
Andujar was only recently promoted to Triple-A after the season-ending injury to Gleyber Torres. That’s right, the 22-year-old slugger played a total of seven games for the RailRiders before getting the call of a lifetime! How’s that for beating the odds?
So throw away all your preconceived notions about what you think this team will do. The Yankees are re-writing the playbook about what it’s like to stay in a playoff race with rookies at the forefront of the attack.
Next: Get to know pitching prospect Zack
Sure, they’ll have some hiccups along the way, but that’s part of the game. It just so happens this is less of a rebuild and more of a reorganization.