NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have a problem on their hands, but it could be a good one depending on how things play out.
With rookie Miguel Andujar mostly earning his pinstripes so far this season, the Bombers’ original third baseman, Brandon Drury, seems to be a man without a position.
The Yankees acquired Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade that also included the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason following the trade that sent high-priced veteran Chase Headley to San Diego. Drury proceeded to earn his spot as the team’s starting third baseman in spring training. However, a bout with dizziness and migraines forced the 25-year-old to the disabled list after just eight regular season games.
Drury hit .315 in 67 plate appearance during his recently completed minor league rehab assignment, and is clearly chomping at the bit to get back into the lineup with the big club. But the Yankees seem to really have something in Andujar, who has yet to find his power stroke but is hitting .284 and has played very good defense, a trait of the 23-year-old’s game that was thought to be lacking heading into camp.
“Miguel Andujar has come up and done a nice job for us,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said before the Yankees’ suspended game against the Nationals on Tuesday. “We’ll let Brandon continue, at least for a period of time, at Triple-A, just given the fact we have a pretty strong roster right now.”
What’s more, the Yankees (28-12) are carrying 13 pitchers and as a result have just three bench spots. Drury could probably play another infield position, but the Bombers aren’t about to platoon Didi Gregorius at shortstop or mess with rookie sensation Gleyber Torres at second. It’s clear versatile Ronald Torreyes is the first man up to spell a starter in the infield and precious designated hitter at-bats seem reserved for the slugging outfielder that doesn’t play in the field on any given night.
So how is Drury going to get back on the field?
“I guess, stay tuned,” Cashman said. “I know [Drury]’s hungry. This is the best he’s felt in a long time. He knows he can help us and impact us.”
Drury, a career .270 hitter with 128 RBIs over parts of four major league seasons, is expected to report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre before the weekend. How long he’ll remain there is anyone’s guess.
“We have full confidence if we needed [Drury] to play third base today, [he could],” Cashman said. “It was an acknowledgment of how we’ve played as a team and Miguel Andujar’s contribution during that time frame. Because of that, we thought we’d honor that, at least for the time being. … We didn’t acquire Brandon Drury to play at Scranton. We acquired him to impact this major league club, and I’m sure he will.”