When Miguel Andujar returned from a small labrum tear on May 4th it looked like he would be able to avoid season-ending surgery. However, after hitting .088 in his first nine games back the Yankees placed him back on the IL on Monday. Wednesday night the team announced he would undergo shoulder surgery on May 20th and isn’t expected to return this season.
Once the Yankees placed Miggy on the IL earlier this week it was safe to assume that we weren’t going to see him in the lineup again anytime soon. After his latest trip to the IL season-ending surgery was inevitable. It’s unclear exactly how long the surgery will keep him sidelined, but since it’s expected to keep him out for the rest of season the Yanks were smart to pull the trigger and get it over with now.
After watching Andujar struggle as much as he did over the past couple weeks clearly he wasn’t 100% healthy. I’m sure rust played a part in his slow start off the IL at first but for him to go 3-34 over a nine-game stretch you knew something wasn’t right.
As much as it hurts to lose Miggy this early in the season the Yankees should be able to absorb the blow of losing him. Thanks to the breakout performance from Gio Urshela so far this season the Yanks should feel very confident with what they have at third base from here on out.
Urshela has always been a great defender but this season his bat has made a bigger impact than his glove. His defense at the hot corner has been outstanding, as advertised, but the Yankees record wouldn’t stand at 26-16 today without his contributions at the plate.
Stats through 5/15: .330 AVG, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .874 OPS, .407 AVG W/RISP
There were questions regarding how the Yankees planned on keeping both Urshela and Miggy in the lineup after his return but those questions are gone now. Urshela is the everyday third basemen moving forward.
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In the nine games Andujar played after his return he spent the majority of them at DH and now that’s he’s out those at-bats could go to the newly acquired Kendrys Morales. The Yankees acquired the 35-year-old veteran from the A’s Tuesday night for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
The plan is for him to play a lot in the coming weeks. With Giancarlo Stanton still out and no exact timetable for his return, this is a great opportunity for Morales to keep his career going as it nears its later stages.
He’s been one of the most consistent DH’s in baseball for much of the last decade but really struggled with Oakland to start the season. He was designated for assignment on Monday after hitting just .204 with one home run and 7 RBI in 34 at-bats.
Although based on his hard-hit rate% and exit velocity this season you can tell he hit into a lot of bad luck and I’m sure the Yankee front office took note of that.
The Yankees are hoping that a switch to the Bronx in a more hitter-friendly home ballpark translates to better results. We’ll have to wait and see how long Morales lasts in pinstripes, but for now, adding him looks like another shrewd move by GM Brian Cashman.