Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced after last night’s game that outfielder Clint Frazier will be placed on the 10-day injured list with an ankle injury, as Erik Boland of Newsday was among those to report (Twitter links). He joins a dozen other players on a talent-laden Yankees IL.
It seems that Frazier won’t be sidelined for much longer than the minimum; indeed, Boone suggested that the player himself feels he’s close to being ready to return. With the MRI showing some cause for concern, though, the club elected to take the cautious course and free up the roster spot for a healthy replacement.
Reliever Joe Harvey is being called up to take the roster spot, but that may only be a precursor to another move to get an outfield-capable position player onto the roster. The situation could ultimately force a 40-man roster move — possibly a 60-day IL placement for one of the already-injured players — as the club is otherwise fresh out of options.
It’s possible to imagine some kind of minor trade coming together, or the Yanks might call upon one of the veterans it has stashed at Triple-A on minor-league deals. Brad Miller has limited experience in the outfield but would be a flexible option with an established bat. Cliff Pennington is another infielder who has appeared briefly on the grass, though his chief attribute is his glovework on the dirt. Billy Burns would offer a capable defender but little at the plate.
This should only be a road bump for team and player, though there are still some legitimate concerns. The Yanks have managed to roll through the injuries and win eight of their last ten games, but their only three healthy outfielders at the moment are Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, and Tyler Wade. Frazier was finally hitting his stride at the game’s highest level, turning in 73 plate appearances of .324/.342/.632 hitting with six home runs. Now he’s nursing yet another injury.