Yankees lose Tyler Austin scorching stick for next four games

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Tyler Austin
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Tyler Austin /

It was only a matter of time before MLB finally ruled on Tyler Austin’s appealed suspension. Now we know the Yankees will be without one of their hottest hitters the next four games, starting on Friday versus the 16-9 Angels.

Following Thursday’s dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory against the Twins, news broke that Tyler Austin’s five-game suspension was dropped a whopping one game to four, as the Yankees first baseman is set to miss the entire series vs. the extremely hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Seriously, though, can we go back to calling them the Anaheim Angels? L.A. is a 45-minute drive away without traffic. Believe me, after living in Southern California for nearly seven years; Orange County is NOT Los Angeles.

Regarding games to be missed, I’ll never understand how pitchers get similar suspensions as everyday players. Joe Kelly, a relief pitcher, lost his appeal and is out six games. It’s not like Kelly would have appeared in any more than three.

Kelly should have been banned at least a full week to make up for his overzealous role in the brawl at Fenway on April 11. The other part that annoys me about the suspension is why in the world did it take MLB 15 days to come to a decision?

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Austin appealed his suspension the day after the incident occurred. There should be a moratorium on rulings — no more than 48 hours should elapse otherwise a mistrial of sorts in handed down. Mistrial might be a bit strong, but you get my point.

Luckily, the Yankees’ bats are as en fuego as they’ve been all season. Coming off a four-game sweep of the Twins, if there was ever a time to lose a starter it might be now. However, set to face two lefties in ANAHEIM, having Austin in the lineup would have ideal, as manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com.

"“The timing’s not perfect, obviously,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday before the decision was announced. “He’s been a really important player to us. We’re getting ready to go to Anaheim, where we’re going to face two lefties, and we really like him against lefties. But that is the situation we’re in.”"

I for one hope that Austin’s mini-vacation doesn’t throw off his timing at the plate, especially with a juicy four-game series against the Astros on the horizon.

With Greg Bird hoping to return sometime in May (2018?), Brandon Drury still a few days away from ending his minor league rehab assignment and Adam Lind taking part in extended Spring Training, that means we’re going to get a whole lot of Neil Waker at first base.

Next: Yankees should promote Justus Sheffield to Triple-A

Yes, Walker has been dreadful to start the season (.172/.232/.203 with zero home runs, three RBI and a 14:5 K:BB ratio in 64 at-bats); however, if he wants to stick with the Yankees for the foreseeable future, he’ll need to take advantage of this opportunity.