Yanks' Andujar has labrum tear; surgery possible

ByColey Harvey ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

NEW YORK -- In the hour before their series opener Monday against the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees were handed some of their most serious injury news to date.

Miguel Andujar, last year's runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, was diagnosed with a small labrum tear in his right shoulder.

Because tests are still pending and a treatment plan is still being developed, it's unclear for now just how long Andujar might be out. Early physical testing of Andujar's throwing shoulder has been promising. Still, he was placed on the 10-day injured list for now.

"Surgery could be in play, which would obviously compromise his season," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Monday's 3-1 Yankees win. "There is some optimism that if treated conservatively, he can respond and come back and play good.

"But we'll know that in a couple of weeks."

An MRI revealed the injury, which was sustained as Andujar was running the bases in Sunday's loss to Baltimore.

While standing at third base in the fourth inning, Andujar dove back suddenly and landed somewhat awkwardly on his right side as he retreated back to the bag during a surprise snap throw from Orioles catcher Pedro Severino. At the time, Andujar didn't show any sign that the dive affected him.

"He stayed in the game, was able to do all his throws between innings," said Boone, who had originally planned to give Andujar a day off Monday. When he set the lineup without Andujar's name in it, Boone had no idea his third baseman was hurt.

It was during pregame work when Boone noticed the infielder not taking his customary voluntary pregame ground balls at third base. Andujar ultimately decided to be evaluated, leading to the MRI.

To replace Andujar, the Yankees recalled infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Because of how late in the day Andujar's prognosis came, Wade didn't find out he was getting called up to the Bronx until about a half hour before first pitch between the Yankees and Tigers.

"I didn't want to miss the game," Wade said. "I knew we had a short bench, so I got here as soon as I could."

That meant repacking -- just after he had finished unpacking from spring training in Florida -- and hailing an Uber. Wade, his Uber driver and the minivan they were riding in made the approximate 130-mile trek to Yankee Stadium. They got there in a brisk two hours, getting him to the ballpark by the seventh inning. Wade didn't pay for the ride so he wasn't sure how much it cost, but a quick estimate from the ride-share app Monday night indicated it could cost about $166.

"Having a guy go down, you don't want to get called up because of an injury, but I'm happy to contribute," Wade said.

In addition to occasional contributions from Wade at third base, New York also will continue playing DJ LeMahieu there, just as it did Sunday and Monday. Ahead of Sunday's start, LeMahieu hadn't started a game at third since 2014.

Wade was the Yankees' somewhat surprise end-of-spring-training cut, getting optioned on the last day after putting together a rather strong six weeks. Wade batted .308 with an .845 OPS, a home run and seven doubles in 20 spring training games.

He was sent down one day after the Yankees traded with the Colorado Rockies to land outfielder Mike Tauchman. The deal was intended to help address the Yankees' thin outfield.

That outfield depth took another big hit earlier Monday, when Giancarlo Stanton went on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain. Boone said Stanton will be shut down for 10 days. The Yankees hope he'll be able to return later this month.

Stanton and Andujar's injuries add to the long list of Yankees IL designations. Pitchers CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances headline the group, along with center fielder Aaron Hicks and shortstop Didi Gregorius.

The Yankees believe they will be able to fill each of the injured player's shoes with a collective effort.

"Guys just step up. That's it," right fielder Aaron Judge said. "We got a deep farm system, a deep organization, and when guys go down, everyone's ready to step up and fill their spot."