As Tyler Austin continues to rehab at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, a return to the New York Yankees does not seem imminent.
MOOSIC, Pa. — Sidelined since June 27 with a high-grade hamstring strain, Tyler Austin began a rehab assignment with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders last night, going 0-for-2.
However, that should not lead anyone to believe that a return to the bigs is in store anytime soon for the 25-year-old.
New York finally has first base on lockdown with Chase Headley‘s recent surge, making its early-season shuffle — which included Greg Bird, Austin, Chris Carter, Ji-Man Choi and Garrett Cooper — a thing of the past.
Headley’s second-half slash of .343/.395/.486 at the new position is not exactly a welcoming sign for Austin, who stated that his hamstring is “100 percent.”
“I have no idea what the plan is up there. I know that I’m here to play games here. That’s all I know so far,” said Austin.
Named the everyday first baseman on June 24, the second-year big leaguer went 2-for-13 with a homer and two RBIs in four games before he was placed on the disabled list.
Austin does have a history of versatility, with experience at both corner outfield and infield spots. With that said, he does not have any clear goals, such as pursuing a utility role down the stretch.
“Stay healthy is the big thing. I haven’t really tried to think about the first base stuff too much. I can’t control any of that,” said Austin. “What I can control is coming out and playing as hard as I can every day.”
With Greg Bird potentially on the way back in late-August, Todd Frazier remaining a cog at third base and Headley’s success, there is a strong chance that Scranton could serve as his long-term home.
Austin will be traveling with Scranton when the team hits the road next week, making stops in Gwinnett and Durham.
As for Friday night, he is penciled in as skipper Al Pedrique‘s cleanup hitter and DH.
The RailRiders (69-41) will certainly benefit from Austin’s .310/.382/.578 minor league slash line this season, without the fear of him getting snatched away by the big boys.