A tough spring training for Miguel Andújar just became even more difficult. The former Rookie of the Year runner-up has not played since Wednesday due to a sore right hand and wrist, and prior to Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Blue Jays, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Andújar will see a specialist on Monday. He has been shut down for the time being.
Andújar said that he first felt the pain while trying to get his swing back into form during a stint in the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM). Clinging to the fringes of Opening Day roster contention, the 26-year-old attempted to play through it, but at just 2-for-15 through six exhibition games, it wasn’t surprising to see that something was wrong with him.
It made perfect sense for Andújar to give LIDOM a go after a 2020 that was shortened by not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but also shaky play that saw him appear in only 21 games for the Yankees, batting a poor .242/.277/.355 with a 74 OPS+. He spent a good chunk of the season at the Scranton alternate site and did not play in the majors after September 13th.
After a smashing debut season in 2018 with 47 doubles and 27 homers in 149 games as the Yankees’ primary third baseman, Andújar has seen disappointing results since then. A torn shoulder labrum forced him to miss almost all of 2019, and the defensively superior Gio Urshela took his job in his absence. Never much of a fielder, the Yankees have struggled to find another home for Andújar, a task made all the more difficult by his decline at the plate since his shoulder surgery.
In fairness to Andújar, consistent playing time has been hard to come by in New York, as the loaded lineup does not exactly allow for young players to work their way through slumps when excellent alternative options are waiting in the wings. This new wrist injury is the latest in a long series of bad luck for Andújar, and if he has to miss significant time, it both derails any potential rebound attempts and makes him a less attractive option via trade if other teams are considering acquiring him. He’s probably destined for the Yankees’ alternate site in April regardless, but it’s just an awful break. Hopefully, the wrist doesn’t require surgery just yet.