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The Yankees are a better team with Urshela @ 3rd
1 year ago  ::  May 09, 2019 - 4:00PM #41
laurenfrances
Posts: 39,505

Is Gio Urshela forcing Yankees to rethink Miguel Andujar's future?


Breaking down New York's third base battle


By Chris Carelli | 9:35AM

Chris CarelliSNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives


A shoulder injury in the third game of the season sidelined 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up Miguel Andujar for 28 games. The Yankees incumbent third baseman avoided surgery, but is it possible he's losing his grip on his stature as a consequence?


Despite suffering a bruised knee Wednesday that might keep him out a couple of days, Gio Urshela is likely to man third base on a regular basis. Yankees manager Aaron Boone suggested that his lineup strategy, based on his active 25-man roster, would have Urshela primarily playing third base and Andujar at designated hitter.


Long term, if Urshela maintains his upward trend and Andujar continues to struggle, the Yankees might have a decision to make before long. That could include what to do with the latter's tenure with the Yankees.


Ride the hot hand


While Urshela uncharacteristically made errors in two straight games, he is an easy choice over Andujar from a defensive perspective. The Yankees tolerated Andujar's defense last season because of his potency at the plate, maybe more so because the roster dictated the role was his alone.


At this stage, the Yankees cannot go wrong because Urshela has been fantastic overall at third base and he has been extremely productive at the plate. In 88 plate appearances through Wednesday's game, Urshela is hitting .346 with a .409 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage.


The cautionary note here is that Urshela came into the season with a career .225 batting average in 466 major-league at-bats. Urshela had some offensive success in the minors -- .270 average in over 3,600 plate appearances -- but the general consensus concerning his game was that he was at least an above average fielder with little hitting skills.


Urshela, who is 27 years old, might be a late bloomer, or might be in for a massive regression.


Is Andujar still hurt? Rusty? Or is it the new role?


With the Yankees wisely bringing Andujar along slowly as the club's DH, it is reasonable to wonder if he is playing at 100 percent considering his .156 batting average in 32 at-bats this season. The sample size is small, but the production (and lack of hard hit balls) begs the question of whether Andujar is completely healthy.


The Yankees would have been unwise to bring back Andujar earlier than he could perform at max capacity, and hopefully for everyone he is forthcoming with the team about his health. As such, this is likely a case of rust. Unfortunately for New York, we're talking caked on corrosion that might take a while to remedy. With Giancarlo Stanton nearing a return, it is Andujar who would lose reps at the plate.


In addition to getting up to speed, Andujar is simultaneously learning to deal with a new role, so there is a chance he is getting in his own head while he laments his slump in between at-bats. Andujar's player profile might suggest being a DH fits best, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll take to the role quickly.


Long-term questions


As the Yankees battle through a large collection of injuries, looking into the future becomes a murky venture. However, one thing that appears certain is that the club will be active in the trade market.


The Yankees' farm system is intriguing in that its fairly deep, but a majority of the club's best prospects are located at the lower levels. This could create some difficulty in landing top-tier trade pieces and puts Andujar, a mostly known commodity, firmly back into the trade market.


No one expects Urshela to maintain his torrid pace at the plate, but does he really need to hit above .300 in order for the Yanks to investigate what Andujar brings back in a trade? If Urshela plays Gold Glove defense and hits league average the rest of the way, the Yankees might believe that's as valuable as Andujar's incredibly poor defense and strong bat.


Finally, consider that if Andujar continues to flail at the plate, it's probable his trade value would take a hit at the same time. How many teams are going to invest in a player that profiles as a DH, who is not hitting and was recently shelved with a shoulder injury that might eventually need surgery?


Bottom line


The Yankees might have contemplated trading Andujar in the offseason, so if the pressure to land an expensive talent emerges, the team could reassess his value.


Looking at the constants -- Urshela's elite defense and Andujar's struggles in the field -- is only part of the equation. The Yankees would have to determine which player is best to use at third base in the near future and then decide if that same player (or either player) is the long-term solution.


Like everything else, there is fluidity to the situation, including the health of the rest of the club. The Yankees are rolling with Urshela because it is the obvious choice at the moment, but should he regress and Andujar finds his stroke, the tide could swiftly change and the conversation of shipping the latter out of the Bronx will fade.

1 year ago  ::  May 09, 2019 - 4:56PM #42
yank0428
Posts: 18,440

May 9, 2019 -- 7:43AM, newinn wrote:


IMO a strong arm and a good acurrate arm are two entirely different things




Yes totally different. He's wasn't accurate before the injury.

1 year ago  ::  May 09, 2019 - 5:07PM #43
Paterson
Posts: 6,651


    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.


1 year ago  ::  May 09, 2019 - 5:17PM #44
newinn
Posts: 35,940

May 9, 2019 -- 5:07PM, Paterson wrote:



    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.





do what with Andujar?

1 year ago  ::  May 09, 2019 - 5:32PM #45
Paterson
Posts: 6,651

May 9, 2019 -- 5:17PM, newinn wrote:


May 9, 2019 -- 5:07PM, Paterson wrote:



    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.





do what with Andujar?




    It is not inconceivable that both Urshela and Andujar could be traded later in the year. And you could put Clint Frazier in that group too. The suggestion that Urshela could be open for trade was not intended to solve the "Andujar problem" but more to propose that anything should be on the table to get pitching.  

1 year ago  ::  May 10, 2019 - 1:46AM #46
al
Posts: 882

May 9, 2019 -- 5:32PM, Paterson wrote:


May 9, 2019 -- 5:17PM, newinn wrote:


May 9, 2019 -- 5:07PM, Paterson wrote:



    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.





do what with Andujar?




    It is not inconceivable that both Urshela and Andujar could be traded later in the year. And you could put Clint Frazier in that group too. The suggestion that Urshela could be open for trade was not intended to solve the "Andujar problem" but more to propose that anything should be on the table to get pitching.  




I don't see Frazier being moved right now.  Especially with Gardner literally on his last legs and Hicks a walking muscle pull. Unless you think Taucheman is a legitimate replacement?

1 year ago  ::  May 10, 2019 - 2:22AM #47
njyf
Posts: 1,048

Don't look now but Maybin is playing himself into having a role with this team as well.


What a weird team we've got here. We have too many players for too few positions but don't have enough organizational depth all at the same time.

1 year ago  ::  May 10, 2019 - 12:35PM #48
bumper
Posts: 7,960

May 9, 2019 -- 5:07PM, Paterson wrote:



    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.




lots of questions here ... not sure i'd count on didi. we really have no idea how well he's gonna play returning from TJ surgery. it may take time to ramp up or does he get back to being didi this season. then he's gonna be a free agent so there's a bigger picture at play.


right now urshela's hot. he has to play but is it real or will he revert to what he was. i'm hoping he's a late bloomer who found something.


luv miggy. he's a reason i didn't want machado but right now he's sorta odd man out. the injury coudn't have come at a worse time as he never got a chance to show any improvement at 3B. now he's either rusty, pressing, whatever, but he's probably not getting many reps at 3rd base as long as urshela continues to perform and he'll lose ABs at DH when stanton returns. as a trade chip, he needs to show he can at least hit.


the good news is we have an abundance of riches. should be interesting how all this plays out.

1 year ago  ::  May 10, 2019 - 2:09PM #49
NW
Posts: 2,407

May 10, 2019 -- 2:22AM, njyf wrote:


Don't look now but Maybin is playing himself into having a role with this team as well.


What a weird team we've got here. We have too many players for too few positions but don't have enough organizational depth all at the same time.




Maybin's "role" is going to be blocked by Gardner's salary at some point.

1 year ago  ::  May 10, 2019 - 2:19PM #50
cleanuphtr12
Posts: 1,272

May 9, 2019 -- 5:32PM, Paterson wrote:


May 9, 2019 -- 5:17PM, newinn wrote:


May 9, 2019 -- 5:07PM, Paterson wrote:



    Let me toss out another possibility: By July 31 could Gio Urshela be the guy who other teams want ? That could be just about the same date that Didi Gregorius is ready to take over at SS, moving Gleyber Torres over to 2nd and leaving DJ LeMahieu available for 3rd.


    With Estrada and Wade still in the system infield depth would be available in house.





do what with Andujar?




    It is not inconceivable that both Urshela and Andujar could be traded later in the year. And you could put Clint Frazier in that group too. The suggestion that Urshela could be open for trade was not intended to solve the "Andujar problem" but more to propose that anything should be on the table to get pitching.  




If they believe that Gio is "real" I don't see trading him as a viable option.  He's not a .340 hitter, but if he can hit .300 and play gold glove level defense, they need to start thinking about him as a long term piece.  That would mean Andujar either learning to play OF, DH or being used to acquire a top starting pitcher.

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