Yankees: Two key players who could return from the IL this weekend


The Yankees currently have 13 players on the IL but by the end of this weekend’s series with the Twins that number could decrease to 11. Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar are both close to making their returns and adding them back to the lineup would provide a massive boost to the Yankee offense.

April has come and gone and despite all the injuries the Yankees have suffered so far this season their record sits at an impressive 17-13. It’s amazing that the Yanks somehow sit only two games back of the first place Rays for the division lead, even though they had a pretty favorable April schedule.

Regardless of the caliber of their opponents, they still deserve a ton of credit for making it to May with a record above .500. However, the upcoming schedule is about to get much more difficult and as we saw through the first 30 games this Yankees squad struggle against teams over .500. That’s why this weekend would be the perfect time to welcome back Frazier and Andujar against the 19-10 Minnesota Twins.

The loss of Andujar to the IL (small labrum tear) less than a week into the season looked like it was going to be a huge blow but that hasn’t really been the case. His injury led to the call up of Gio Urshela who has been one of the Yankees hottest hitters since arriving from Triple-A. He finished April with a team-leading .339 average and has played gold glove caliber defense at third base.

We knew his defense was great but nobody expected him to hit like this so even after Miggy returns don’t expect to see him go to the bench. The good news is that with Judge, Stanton, and Hicks all still out the Yankees can ease Miggy back into action by putting him at DH that way Urshela can still get consistent playing time.

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Eventually, Miggy is probably going to have to go back to third base which is cause for concern because there’s a chance he could worsen his labrum tear playing in the field. I’d like to be optimistic about him playing third without any restrictions but it’s hard to imagine him not being a liability there when you consider the risk of him reaggravating the injury.

However, getting his bat back in the lineup would be huge because right now the Yankee offense could really use some help. If the last two losses in Arizona showed anything it’s that the Yankees can’t keep putting up runs consistently with the lineup they currently have. Having guys like Tyler Wade, Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin in the lineup every day isn’t a recipe for success. That’s why getting Frazier back in addition to Miggy is so important.

Before going down with an ankle sprain last Monday during the Angels series Frazier was probably the Yankee most productive hitter to start the season. After finally being given the chance to play every day he was certainly making the most of it, hitting .324 with 6 HR and 17 RBI. Frazier is eligible to return from the 10-day IL on Friday and according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, he ran 90-foot sprints on Thursday without any issues. It’s unclear whether he’ll need to play in any rehab games so if he doesn’t we should see him back this weekend in the Bronx.

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As for Miggy, last weekend he played in extended spring training games and on Tuesday and Wednesday he played for the A-Advanced Tampa Tarpons. We’ll have to wait and see where he fits into the lineup with Urshela still in the fold but the fact that he’ll be back on the big league roster is the most important thing.

When he went down on April 1st I’m sure a lot of people thought he’d be done for the year and would need season-ending surgery. That still might end up being the case (let’s all hope not) but for now, the Yankees can use him as the primary DH until whenever Stanton returns because as long as he’s there he has a better shot of avoiding any further health issues.

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As I said earlier the Yankees are going to continue to struggle to win games against teams above .500 if they have to feature the same lineup they did in Arizona. If they can replace Tauchman with Frazier and Wade with Andujar it would make such a big difference and the lineup as a whole would go back to being one of the best in the American League.