Being stuck in Triple-A Scranton, infielder Brandon Drury is publicly expressing his anger and frustration. What will the Yankees GM Brian Cashman do?
Yankees Brandon Drury is frustrated and angry. He a proven major leaguer having two years as a full-time starter in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ infield in 2016-17 where he hit .275 with 29 HR over 987 AB. He was supposed to be the starting third baseman for Yanks this year.
So what is he doing at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre instead of in the Yankee clubhouse in the Bronx? There are two sides to this story if one wants to get the whole picture. It all started after the first week of the season, and immediately after the series in Toronto.
Drury went to the Yankees trainer and complained of a headache. Something must have happened there because suddenly, the club’s new third baseman decided to open up and reveal that he had suffered from headaches and blurred vision throughout spring training.
Moreover, that this was a condition, something Drury had been playing with and evidently hiding for the last six years. Quite a bombshell for his new team.
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As reported by Zach Braziller of the NY Post on April 7, Drury told reporters:
"“It’s really affecting my vision. My vision has been very, very blurry,” Drury said Saturday morning after he was placed on the 10-day disabled list before the Yankees hosted the Orioles in The Bronx. It’s baseball. I need to have my eyes be right to play and help this team win games, and I just don’t think I’ve been even close to what [I need to be] physically to play this game. It’s something I got to figure out what the deal is, and attack it. “I don’t want to play feeling like that anymore. I have to see what’s going on.”"
Although the Yankees knew nothing about this condition prior to the three-team trade that brought Drury to the Bronx, the club backed up Drury and sent him to be evaluated. GM Brian Cashman told The Post:
"“All I care about is finding out what’s going on. He’s in a great city and we’ll give him the best medical care that New York City has to offer. I can’t say what my level of concern is at this point."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said at the time:
"“We think he can be a terrific player for us, and especially if he’s been dealing with this,” “Hopefully, Monday is the start of getting some answers when we can put him through the extensive tests. Right now we’re just going to support him and feel for him [for] what he’s going through.” “There’s no question in all of our minds the skills are there to be a quality impact major league player. Hopefully, with this opportunity, he can find a comfort level and help us, because he certainly has the ability to.”"
Well, the medical team treating Drury must have resolved the issue big time because Drury has torn up Triple-A like no other. In 25 games and 164 AB, he is hitting .360 with a .470 OBP and an OPS of .999. How good is this kid?
Of course, the Yankees must be overjoyed with the results and eager to shove the 25-year-old future star back into the infield at the Bronx Zoo as quickly as possible. Right? Not so fast.
While rehabbing, Brandon Drury developed a new condition that is called Miguel Enrique Andujar. Baseball is a game of opportunities, and the Yankees gave such a chance to their rookie phenom to fill in for Drury.
The problem is that Andujar did a little more than fill in. In his 222 AB, the rookie has raked a .293 BA, eight home runs, 28 RBIs, and an OPS of .839. He leads all rookies in XBH’s, is fourth in doubles in all of baseball and fourth in MLB fielding percentage for a third baseman at .966. Worst of all for Drury, “Miggie” has become a fan favorite in the Bronx.
That brings us back to the headline of this story. The Bombers now seem to have two legitimate claims to third base, but as we all know, possession is 90 percent of the law. Andujar will stay on that bag until he loses it by injury or it is torn from under his feet.
Good news is that Brandon Drury can also play second base. Well, worse news for Drury over there by the name of Gleyber Torres, and unless my readers come from another planet, they know what a job he has done. Position filled.
OK, so the infield is full, but the Yankees are not going to keep a proven player, very talented but angry and frustrated property hitting .360 in Scranton forever. What are the options?
Trade him for something they need, and the team really needs to acquire another quality starter.
So one of these infielder’s, either Andujar or Drury will be traded by the deadline. My guess is that it’s going to be Drury and not because he is any less talented, but because like I previously pointed out, Andujar has become a fan favorite.
Of course, that could change very quickly in the case of injury, but right now, trade is the only option for this trilemma. So unless the Yankees deal Andujar to the Mets, if it meant getting deGrom or Thor, Drury’s days in the Yankees organization seem numbered.
The story might not have a storybook ending for both sides this season, but if traded, Brandon Drury, I hope, remembers on the way out to thank the Yankees for getting him healthy and rid of a “hidden” illness that could have ruined his career.