The Yankees’ injury bug hasn’t spared a soul this season, so of course even the injury replacements like Gio Urshela have hit the injured list at times. Luckily, Urshela, who missed the minimum ten days after going on the IL with a last week groin strain, avoided major injury, and will rejoin the Yankees ahead of tonight’s matchup with the Red Sox.
Urshela has been one of the biggest stories of this Yankees season, and it will be great to have his spark, and his .331/.370/.555 line, back in the lineup. He won’t be the only player to return to the Yankees, however. With the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ season ending earlier this week, the Yankees added a few other players from the high minors to their roster.
Catcher Kyle Higashioka and infielder and Breyvic Valera each will join the expanded September roster, adding some depth on the margins. Higashioka performed admirably when Gary Sanchez was injured in August, stroking three homers in 39 at-bats. He had a strong season in Triple-A as well, posting a .929 OPS in 70 games. Valera profiles as a quintessential replacement level player, though he too has had a fine run with Scranton, running a .903 OPS in 83 Triple-A games.
Also returning from injury is infielder Thairo Estrada. Estrada suffered a right hamstring strain in August. He had played slightly above expectations in the bigs prior to going down, compiling a .739 OPS in 57 at-bats while playing multiple defensive positions. He and Valera will likely play similar roles as versatile reserves.
This isn’t exactly the injection of talent that the Yankees are really waiting on, as they still hope to get Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, and Dellin Betances back this month. Even so, the team runs a bit deeper today than it did yesterday, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.