The Yankees’ inability to stay healthy reared its head again on Friday, as New York placed third baseman Gio Urshela and right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga on the injured list. Urshela is dealing with bone spurs in his right elbow, while Loasigia has an undisclosed condition. The Yankees, in turn, recalled utility player Miguel Andujar and righty Miguel Yajure from the alternate site.

Urshela is the more notable of the losses. In 31 games this season, he had batted .272/.358/.515 (138 OPS+) with 13 extra-base hits. Since breaking out in early 2019, he’s appeared in 163 games with the Yankees, a hair over a full season, and has accumulated 4.9 Wins Above Replacement during that time. For reference, that ranks eighth among qualifying third basemen during the same span, behind the who’s who of hot-corner stoppers: 

Andujar figures to serve as the Yankees’ most-days third baseman until Urshela returns. He’s struggled in 12 games at the big-league level this season, hitting .129/.156/.129 (-19 OPS+). Andujar, with his below-average glove, also represents a markable downgrade on defense. 

As for Loaisiga, he had split the season between the rotation and the bullpen. In eight appearances (three of them being starts), he had notched 17 innings and a 3.18 ERA (135 ERA+), and he had recorded five strikeouts for every walk. Yajure made his big-league debut on Monday, throwing three shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees, who are slated to play four games this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles, entered the day with a 20-16 record on the season. That’s good for a tie for second place in the American League East with the Toronto Blue Jays. Under this year’s expanded postseason provisions, every first- and second-place team will make the playoffs. It’s worth noting, in case the Yankees slip to third, that they have a two-game advantage over the Detroit Tigers for what would be the league’s eighth and final playoff spot. 

Of course, the Yankees can blame their struggles in part on injuries. They’re currently playing without a number of key contributors, including outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, shortstop Gleyber Torres, and lefty starter James Paxton. Pitchers Luis Severino and Tommy Kahnle are also out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here