Posted on May 14, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Yankees Miguel Andujar
Image via cbssports.com

Just when things started to get better for the New York Yankees health-wise, they take a step back. On the same day the Yankees activated outfielder Aaron Hicks for the first time this season, they lose third baseman Miguel Andujar to the Injured List for the second time this season. The Yankees put Andujar back on the 10-day IL Monday due to complications from the labrum tear he suffered in late March.

When he was first hurt, season-ending surgery was one option for Andujar. But after more than a month on the IL, the shoulder had healed well enough for him to return. Upon his return, Andujar himself said he wasn’t thinking his ailing shoulder on the field, making the Yankees optimistic. However, Andujar is just 3 for 34 since coming off the IL earlier this month, prompting the Yankees to send him back to the IL and send him for more tests on his shoulder.

“We feel like even though he’s passed everything and the strength tests have been good and [we] rehabbed him properly, we do feel like the injury is certainly a contributing factor to some of the struggles,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Monday. “I think we’ll reassess all that and try to get a plan in place to try and get him back.”

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At this point, the Yankees don’t believe Andujar has to undergo season-ending surgery to address the shoulder problem. However, Boone says that option isn’t “off the table.” Of course, that likely means an open-ended stint on the IL for a young player who was one of New York’s top performers last season. With the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton still on the IL, a healthy Andujar would be a huge asset for the Yankees right now. But he could be facing another month or more on the IL to get himself right.

“We’ve got to get a better handle on this and then probably just get him built up in the best way possible if we can move forward with that,” said Boone.

The silver lining for the Yankees is that Gio Urshela has excelled offensively in Andujar’s absence. He’s currently hitting .341 with an OPS of .902. However, those numbers are not in line with his career productivity, even in the minors. If he goes cold, the Yankees will really start to miss Andujar. Moreover, with Didi Gregorius and Troy Tulowitzki on the IL, the Yankees don’t have much infield depth. DJ LeMahieu could be an option at third base, but right now, he’s serving as the team’s primary second baseman.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, injury woes continue to plague their 2019 campaign. They’ve received almost no productivity from Andujar this season, and there’s no way of knowing when he’ll be healthy enough to contribute as expected. Monday’s news that he’s going back on the IL is a setback for both Andujar and the team. To their credit, the Yankees have held up well amidst their injuries. But Andujar’s continued absence is just one more obstacle for them to overcome this season.

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