Another day, another injury for the Yankees’ outfield. Billy McKinney is headed to the disabled list after crashing into the left field wall at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on an attempted catch Saturday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post was among those to report. The Yankees will recall third baseman Miguel Andujar to take McKinney’s spot on their 25-man roster.
The rookie McKinney suffered an AC sprain in his left shoulder, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, which forced him to leave the Yankees’ 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays in the first inning. The Yankees then subbed in Brett Gardner, who had been scheduled for an off day, to take McKinney’s place in left. Gardner joined Aaron Judge in center (his first big league game at the position) and Giancarlo Stanton in right to comprise New York’s outfield.
With Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier also on the DL, the Yankees’ vaunted outfield has taken a beating early this season. They still have the enviable Judge-Stanton-Gardner trio intact, of course, but the depth behind them is now lacking. Potential backups on the big league roster include third baseman Brandon Drury, who played 94 games in the Diamondbacks’ outfield in 2016, utilityman Tyler Wade and first baseman Tyler Austin – both of whom bring some outfield experience to the table. The Yankees also have veteran Shane Robinson in the organization, but he’s not on their 40-man roster.
Andujar, 23, may slot in at both third and first in his second major league call-up. He vied for the Yankees’ third base job during the spring, but the late-February acquisition of Drury made it unlikely he’d open the season in the majors. Andujar appeared in five of the team’s games last year, which he mostly spent at the Triple-A level. He slashed an outstanding .317/.364/.502 in 250 PAs at the minors’ highest level in 2017, leading to his soaring stock as a prospect. Andujar’s a highly regarded youngster who ranks as FanGraphs’ 14th-best prospect.