After the Yankees suffered a 5-3 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays in Saturday’s game, the team placed outfielder Billy McKinney on the DL and called up Miguel Andujar. McKinney was injured in the bottom of the first inning which you can read about here.
On the forty man roster, the only position players that can take McKinney’s roster spot were catcher Kyle Higashioka, shortstops Thairo Estrada and Gleyber Torres, or third baseman Miguel Andujar. In order for the Yankees to call up another outfielder, such as Estaban Florial, the team would risk losing someone off of their forty man roster due to MLB’s rule.
Andujar has shown his ability at the plate with .274/.323/.412 in his minor league career. He played in five games in 2017 and proved he was able to adjust to MLB pitching, going 4 for 7 with 4 RBIs and zero strikeouts. The question mark with Andujar is his fielding, which Andujar has worked on both in the minor leagues and during Spring Training last month.
The team will likely keep Andujar with the major league club until Jacoby Ellsbury returns from the DL. Once a place of depth for the Yankees, the OF has been strained as of late.
With the roster move being official, manager Aaron Boone has a lot of potential combinations to use in the outfield. Saturday saw Aaron Judge in centerfield for the first time in his young MLB career. Infielders Brandon Drury, Tyler Wade, and Tyler Austin all have played in the outfield at some point in their careers and gives Boone some versatility to work with.
Boone originally wanted Brett Gardner to get a day off during the series against the Blue Jays to give his legs a rest off of the turf, but was forced to turn to him from the bench. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees play their outfield alignment during the final game in Toronto and their two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
My opinion is that unless Andujar stays on the roster, the team is just wasting an option for a few games. However, out of the four position players on the forty man roster eligible to come up, Andujar is the only plausible choice to go with. The Yankees seemed comfortable enough to start Aaron Judge in center and keep Giancarlo Stanton in right field. They could move Drury into left and let Andujar learn on the fly since keeping him as the DH will not benefit him in the long run.