The Yankees double-header sweep of the Tigers on Thursday was great; however, three starters including J.A. Happ, Edwin Encarnacion and Gary Sanchez, left injured.
Even Aaron Judge and Tommy Kahnle struck further fear into the heart of Yankees manager Aaron Boone — Judge for crashing into the right-field wall making a catch and Kahnle for throwing a dugout tantrum (hurting his fingers).
Although it appears Judge and Kahnle are out of the woods, the other three are headed back to New York for precautionary tests.
With Luis Severino set to finally come off the injured list on Tuesday when he takes the mound versus the Angels — and Giancarlo Stanton and Dellin Betances potentially right behind him, it’s a daunting task to get a full-strength Yankee team on the field at the same time in 2019.
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Therefore, role players that are able to thrive in a pinch will be needed, not only for the final 14 games of the regular season but the playoffs — especially if the Yankees decide to carry 13 pitchers — thus, shortening the bench.
One such player that can man as many as six different positions — is a left-handed hitter and runs like the dickens is Tyler Wade.
With Mike Tauchman and Aaron Hicks likely lost until next year — and Clint Frazier still not inspiring anyone with his shoddy glove-work, Wade will likely compliment journeyman outfielder Cameron Maybin this postseason — especially if Stanton’s return is delayed for any reason.
According to Statcast, Wade has 29 feet per second speed, which is the fastest on the club. Even if Wade doesn’t start, having a stolen base threat off the bench, let alone one that knows HOW to run the bases is vital come playoff time.
While Wade isn’t going to challenge a guy such as Mike Ford when it comes to display’s of power with the stick, if Encarnacion can return from his mild oblique strain, and Luke Voit is hitting — then Ford becomes expendable to the playoff roster.
Since Tauchman hit the shelf, Wade’s last seven games have been impressive — as the 24-year-old is 7-for-19 with three runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and a stolen base.
No, Wade won’t stop us from clamoring for good ol’ Giancarlo, but he’s cut down on his strikeouts and increased his hard-hit percentage while still doing what he does best — offering versatility.
As Boone recently told Erik Boland of Newsday, he has all the confidence in the world in Wade.
"“I feel good about him, wherever we put him,” Boone said. “And that versatility is something that is going to be very important for us not only moving forward but for him in his career and his long-term future in this game.”"