The Yankees announced Thursday that they’ve officially placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the 10-day injured list. Infield prospect Thairo Estrada was recalled to take his place on the 25-man roster (as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported would be the case).
Tulowitzki, 34, is the 11th player the Yankees have placed on the injured list already in 2019. The former All-Star and MVP candidate has been plagued by injuries to his lower half in recent years and missed all of the 2018 season recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs in both of his heels. He’s belted a home run and a double thus far in his 13 plate appearances with the Yankees but didn’t manage to stave off the injury bug for long. The team has yet to comment on how long he’ll be sidelined, though manager Aaron Boone was quick to suggest after yesterday’s game that an IL trip was quite likely.
The injury to Tulo opens the door for Estrada to make his big league debut. Ranked 19th among Yankees farmhands by MLB.com and 26th by Fangraphs, the 23-year-old Estrada has faced a more uphill battle in reaching the bigs than most players. He looked to be progressing toward a potential promotion heading into the 2018 season but was shot in the hip during a robbery attempt in his native Venezuela last offseason, which ultimately required a pair of surgeries. Both MLB.com and Fangraphs peg him as a potential utility infielder. His last full, healthy season in 2017 resulted in a solid .301/.353/.392 slash through 122 games in Double-A ball.
Estrada’s promotion to the Majors doesn’t necessarily lock him into regular at-bats while Tulowitzki is on the shelf. The Yankees have DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres both healthy, and that pairing will surely receive everyday at-bats at present. But with Miguel Andujar also on the injured list, Estrada and Tyler Wade should have ample opportunity for playing time — perhaps in a platoon setting, as Estrada’s right-handed bat complements the left-handed-hitting Wade.