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Yankees Mailbag: Miguel Andujar, fastballs, and help from outside

The mailbag arrives to answer your questions after a week on the road.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to jump into the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Kyle Ren asks: Is there any place in this lineup for Miguel Andújar? To me he is too one dimensional and they already have a full-time DH.

Well, you might be surprised. Now that the Yankees have traded Mike Tauchman, they’re back to a traditional four-man outfield arrangement. Cooper wrote last week about the idea of playing Giancarlo Stanton in the field, and this idea is only bolstered now that Tauchman’s at-bats are coming off of the board. Tom wrote specifically about fitting Andújar into the lineup yesterday, and noted that Andújar is “the antithesis to the Yankees’ offensive problems.” By this, he meant that Andújar rarely lets a pitch blow by him and he rakes fastballs when he’s on.

If the Yankees are encouraged by how Andújar looks as he returns from the Injured List, it’s not a stretch to give him a shot. The problem isn’t just fitting him positionally, however. The roster crunch is extremely tight right now, so fitting him onto the 26-man to even give him a chance at cracking the lineup in the first place will be tough. Most likely, it would come down to the Yankees’ level of comfort with letting Gio Urshela be the backup shortstop over having Tyler Wade on the team, since he’s the only guy Andújar could reasonably beat out to start.

JRZ asks: Why can’t the Yankees hit the fastball? I’m not sure what the statistics reveal (misses, fouls, takes) versus the rest of the league but it seems to me that we can’t catch up to the fastball. Am I wrong?

While I don’t have the specific data you asked about, I can direct you to the work of our very own Josh for an explanation on why the Yankees have struggled with the fastball this year. Opposing pitching staffs have flipped the script on the Yankees, feeding them breaking pitches early just to set up late heaters that they aren’t looking for and therefore can’t catch up to.

Also, this is now unofficially the plug-our-own-articles edition of the mailbag.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: Blockbuster trade idea? OK, It’s early, and I wouldn’t expect this to happen now, but … Zac Gallen and Ketel Marte from Arizona for Gleyber Torres and Jasson Dominguez (and probably a couple other prospects)

This would still fit into the luxury tax for the Yankees and would help fix some ills on the current roster. Even though Marte isn’t a gold glover at SS, he’s better defensively there than Gleyber is right now. Gallen could bring the Yankees a long way toward locking down the #2 starter slot.

I don’t see this working for a few reasons. First, any trade involving Gleyber this year would be selling while the price is in the basement, and plenty of other teams would be aware of that. Even if there was a leaguewide expectation that Torres could bounce back to his pre-2020 form by making some sort of change, I’d expect opposing GMs to consider him a reclamation project at best in terms of trade value. Obviously, that’s why you included Dominguez in this proposal, but that leads to my second objection.

Brian Cashman isn’t trading Dominguez away this season. Point blank. Given everything we have heard about Dominguez and the team’s history of valuing their top prospects, I am convinced that Dominguez will be untouchable at least until we see him in professional ball for a year or two. By then he might be well on his way to the majors and thus remain untouchable, or he may plateau a bit and then become available but be worth less — either way, the Yankees will wait and see with this one.

As for who the Yankees would be bringing back, I am high on Gallen and would gladly entertain trade proposals for him individually. Marte I’m less sold on — he had a standout 2019 but not much else to surround it. Marte started the season sizzling hot, but he suffered a hamstring injury that has shelved him for the foreseeable future. It shouldn’t hold him out for long, but hamstrings are fickle and I’m a bit wary of that. He is signed for cheap, so if the cost isn’t too high it’s not a bad idea, but I wouldn’t mind singling out Gallen instead.

Joshua Diemert asks: y they hit bad