The New York Yankees are humming right now. It feels like the only thing that can stop them (aside from the bullpen) is a disruption of team chemistry, which has been nonexistent until the acquisitions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo at the trade deadline.
But don’t you worry … distractions could very well be on the way.
Both Clint Frazier and Miguel Andújar went on the injured list in early July. Frazier hit the shelf on July 2 with vision issues while Andújar joined him on July 10 with a strained wrist.
Since July 2, the Yankees are 18-9. It’s been their second-best run of the season, outside of their late April/early May surge. During this specific surge, New York has used a number of new outfielders in their place: Greg Allen, Ryan LaMarre, Estevan Florial, Jonathan Davis, Trey Amburgey and Gallo.
Is it a coincidence that the team has substituted the two of them with better all-around players and has found some semblance of a stride?
Not at all. Frazier, statistically, had been one of the worst players in MLB with a -0.9 fWAR. Seriously. Only six players have lower marks. Andújar wasn’t that far behind at -0.2. So what’s the issue? They’re both working their way back from their ailments and could return soon.
What’s the Yankees’ plan when Clint Frazier and Miguel Andújar return?
Anybody have a clue? These guys simply cannot occupy spots on the bench or take on integral roles for the remaining of the season. It’s really disheartening to say. We don’t like it. But this is what it’s come to. Frazier and Andújar do not make this team better and they’re more of a liability than an asset at this juncture.
Tyler Wade has proven to be more valuable. Whenever the Bombers decide to bring Allen back and ditch Davis, they’ll likely be keeping him for the remainder of the year. Rizzo, Gallo, Clay Holmes and Andrew Heaney now have roster spots. Reliever Stephen Ridings deserves one after flashing his 100 MPH fastball in an impressive inning against the Orioles.
What the Yankees do not need is underachieving, position-less sluggers. Have you not noticed how the recent tweaks have made all the difference? Rizzo is a vacuum at first base and has no doubt saved runs. Gallo’s athleticism in the outfield is top-notch. Allen’s versatility and speed allow him to cover ground all over.
Oh, and Giancarlo Stanton is beginning to play some defense! That means there’s really no room for Frazier or Andújar.
Not to mention, we don’t mean to stir up drama, but Frazier and Andújar have been sources of distraction in recent seasons. Remember Andújar’s agent called out the Yankees for sending him to the alternate site last year? Not great. As for Frazier, we don’t think we need to go through how he’s pretty much been the antithesis of a New York Yankee since 2017. It’s not a knock on the 26-year-old. He’s simply not a fit on this team.
That’s why we need to know what the plan is … because we’d really like the Yankees continue on this trajectory without any bumps in the road.