The latest buzz surrounding the New York Yankees involves their injury bug prior to Opening Day. With Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge expected to miss the start of the upcoming season, the latest question is whether Judge will require surgery for a rib fracture he suffered back in September.
As the new season inches closer, here are three outfielders New York may consider in the early stages of the campaign:
After spending his first two seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Tauchman found himself taking advantage of playing time with the Yankees in 2019. In fact, he appeared in 87 games and saw the most starting time of any player in left field.
His season came to an end in September due to a calf strain, but after the All-Star Break, Tauchman was maintaining a .315 batting average and .977 OPS. Defensively, he was among the elite outfielders with 10 defensive runs saved.
Many will sleep on the impact that Tauchman can make, but don’t forget that he finished with the fifth-highest WAR (3.6) on the team. He is an excellent two-way player with the potential to make plenty of starts this season.
After a rough 2019 season, Frazier will likely play a role on the Yankees roster throughout the upcoming year. Most fans will remember ‘Red Thunder’ for the time he spent on the trade block last season, but a new season will provide new opportunities.
The former 5th overall pick of the 2016 MLB Draft struggled in left field last season, but has used the most recent offseason to improve upon his mechanics. The Yankees will need to find a way to pencil him into the starting lineup in order to keep the roster healthy, but how much he improved during the spring will become a key aspect to watch.
The Yankees will looking to incorporate Andújar into their lineup in any way possible, as the 25-year old has been spending time in the outfield during Spring Training. With Gio Urshela primed to take over third base, Andújar will need to find alternative ways to earn playing time.
During the 2018 season, Andújar finished as the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race, totaling 47 doubles, 25 home runs and 97 RBIs. The following season, he appeared in only 12 games before requiring season-ending shoulder surgery.
Health will become the biggest question mark surrounding Andújar, but as long as he is on the field, the playing time will come his way.