New York Yankees: 3 Yankees who can’t afford to get hurt

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New York Yankees infielder Gio Urshela (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Gio Urshela

Urshela is quickly becoming an even more valuable piece of the Yankees than he was when 2019 wrapped — after all, that’s what happens when you prove yourself and do it all over again.

Starting the year in the bottom third of the lineup, he has moved up to different spots in the top of the order. He had a two-run home run off of Nathan Eovaldi Saturday night in the No. 4 spot, and continues to be a contact hitter at the top of the order in the absence of LeMahieu and Judge.

His defense has been his calling card since taking over third base last season, but this season, he is contributing more with his bat once again. He has five home runs and 18 RBI in 23 games this season.

Not for nothing, too, but Miguel Andujar has struggled to come back in any capacity in 2020, looking as weak with the bat as he did while battling a pre-surgery shoulder injury in 2019. Some Yankee fans may have feared an Urshela backslide in ’20, but likely assumed that Andujar’s potent bat could make up for the defensive downgrade, in case of emergency.

So far, Andujar’s been non-competitive at the plate, whereas Urshela has looked like a clone of his 2019 self. Without an adequate replacement, and with the middle of the infield now decimated by dings, the Yanks have placed a lot of faith in Gio Dude.

Playing Gold Glove-caliber type of defense at the hot corner, the Yankees need his glove and bat moving forward.