Back in spring training, the New York Yankees were seriously considering the idea of Miguel Andujar, the 2018 runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, playing some games in the outfield. After all, he didn’t show he was a good fielder at third base, his natural position, at any point in his major league tenure, and that spot is now occupied by Gio Urshela.
However, the Yankees want to keep Andujar’s potent bat in the lineup at least a couple of times per week, potentially more depending on the injury outlook. That’s why manager Aaron Boone and the team as a whole decided to try Andujar at new positions, such as first base and the outfield.
It appears that the New York Yankees are comfortable with the plan, and want Andujar to earn playing time while playing the outfield, Boone confirmed in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
Another option for the Yankees’ crowded OF
Playing the outfield, therefore, is “something he (Andujar) could absolutely do.” The New York Yankees have a logjam in the position, with Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner the likely starters and Giancarlo Stanton as the main DH, but potentially seeing some starts in left field as well. The club also has Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier ready to roll if needed. However, Boone thinks Andujar, who missed most of last season with a labrum injury, could handle a corner position in the outfield if needed.
“Early signs show me that he’ll be able to handle that versatility,” Boone added. That way, Andujar could play the outfield corners, some third and DH, opening up some at-bats for his talented bat, one who hit 27 home runs with a .297 average in 2018.
During his pro career, Andujar, forever an exciting Yankees prospect, has never played other position than third base. However, the team brass liked what they saw from him in the outfield in spring training and appear ready to move forward with the experiment.