The Yankees have placed lefty Zack Britton on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left hamstring and optioned infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar to their alternate training site, per a club announcement. Right-handers Ben Heller and Miguel Yajure are up from the alternate site in a pair of corresponding moves.
Britton, 32, appeared to sustain the injury while covering first base last night. He had an MRI earlier this morning that confirmed the strain prior to the team’s announcement. Presumably, manager Aaron Boone will have more information on the severity of the strain and the expected recovery timeline when he next addresses reporters.
It’s a tough loss for a Yankees club that hoped to have its bullpen back to full strength after welcoming Aroldis Chapman back from the IL. Britton pitched quite well as the interim closer for the Yanks, yielding just two runs on six hits and four walks with nine strikeouts through nine innings. He’s picked up eight saves in 2020, and while his ground-ball rate is “down” to 60 percent this year, that still rates well above the league average.
This marks the second time in 2020 that Andujar, 25, has been optioned to the minors. The 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up went 1-for-7 with a single and a walk in his latest brief stint at the big league level. Shoulder surgery wiped out what would’ve been Andujar’s second full season in the big leagues, and the club has struggled to find opportunities for him now that he’s healthy. The Yanks have gotten Andujar some reps in the outfield, but their lineup is crowded with quality options that have relegated him to more of a depth option at the moment (even with a few key position players injured).
The Yankees currently have Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list. In their absence, Mike Tauchman is seemingly in line for regular outfield work, hot-hitting Clint Frazier logging action at DH and Tyler Wade shouldering the workload at second base. Andujar will need to be down for at least 10 days unless he’s recalled as the corresponding move for placing another player on the injured list.