Yankees outfield plagued by injuries, five candidates to meet the challenge

Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, New York Yankees. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, New York Yankees. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees
Clint Frazier, New York Yankees. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Prime Replacements

With Judge, and Stanton now out of action, both left field and right field remain question marks to begin the season. The New York Yankees have a few internal options they could use until their big sluggers come back.

Mike Tauchman will be the favorite to play one of the corner outfield positions after he burst onto the scene last year for the Yankees, literally out of nowhere. Tauchman became a solid hitter, finishing the 2019 season with a .277 average, 13 home runs, and 47 RBI. While his bat may not be up there with Judge’s or Stanton’s, New York won’t lack in the field with Tauchman. The 29-year-old finished among the MLB leaders in 2019 with 10 Defensive Runs Saved in 87 games played.

The other corner outfield position remains up for grabs. Injuries to the New York Yankees starters could be a blessing in disguise for Clint Frazier. “Red Thunder” is still looking to make a name for himself and be an everyday player. Frazier has always been known for his flowing red hair as well as his wicked bat speed.

The former fifth overall draft pick of 2016 has shown he can produce offensively at the Major League level. It’s his defense in left field that still lacks. Frazier has had trouble fielding the position when he’s gotten a chance in the Big Leagues.

One other player the New York Yankees are considering is Miguel Andujar. They are giving him a shot in left during spring training. Two years ago, he was the runner up for American League Rookie of the Year as a third baseman. His 2018 slash-line was .297/.328/.527/.855 with 47 doubles, 25 home runs, and 97 RBI. Unfortunately, his 2019 didn’t go as expected. Andujar injured his shoulder early on and only played a dozen games before he had season-ending shoulder surgery.

Gio Urshela is now the third baseman and he doesn’t appear to be giving up the job any time soon. The Yankees are trying to find a way to get Andujar’s bat in the lineup and at this point, left field is a good place to start. I’m not sure how comfortable or confident New York would be putting Andujar in the outfield to start the season, but all signs indicate that he’s picking up the position better than expected.