When Opening Day rolls around on Thursday, Tyler Wade will not be among the New York Yankees when they take the field and he’s not happy.
Prior to the Yankees’ final game of spring training on Sunday afternoon, Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A Scranton, ending his magical spring and obvious shot at making the Opening Day roster.
The demotion came on the heels of a quick trade the Yankees executed on Saturday evening, where they acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies for RHP Phillip Diehl. While Diehl was light-hearted with his news, Tyler Wade was not so happy about it all.
In short, he was incredibly pissed off and probably has every right to be.
“It kind of blindsided me,” Wade vented to reporters, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. “I was just trying to get ready because our center fielder (Aaron) Hicks…I don’t know when he’s coming back, so I was just trying [to be] ready for whatever was thrown my way and then it happened.”
Just Saturday afternoon, Wade was a lock to make the roster. Now, he’ll join his buddy Clint Frazier in Triple-A for his third season in a row.
Tauchman is 28 years old to Wade’s 26 and will fill that outfielder spot for the time being while Aaron Hicks gets back to full health.
But Tyler Wade is not happy and, looking at the spring he’s had, there’s no denying that he might actually be right.
Wade hit .320 in 19 games this spring with one home run, seven doubles and 13 runs. Defensively, he played at all three outfield positions while also taking some reps at shortstop when Gleyber Torres needed a rest.
However, the Yankees’ quick trade for Tauchman turned out to be the dagger to the heart of Wade’s incredible spring.
“I didn’t think it was a problem,” Wade told reporters, according to Ackert. “Just the way that I performed this spring, I did everything they asked me to do. I played well. I made the adjustments offensively. Now it’s my defense that’s not good enough.”
Tauchman, on the other hand, has played in 52 major league games, posting just a .153 batting average. With the way Wade was swinging the hot bat in Tampa, it would seem that the guy the Yankees have been developing for several years would rightfully get the nod.
The Yankees decided their outfield was a priority and, for whatever reason, didn’t trust Tyler Wade enough to give him the opportunity to prove himself in the majors.
The versatile Wade will now be wasting away in Scranton, again, and stewing over the sour taste left in his mouth of this shocking demotion. That will ultimately be the fault of the New York Yankees, who will miss his ability to adapt to different positions and steal some bases in the meantime.
Wade had one final thing to say to reporters as he packed his bag and made the trek down to Tampa.
“Apparently I’m not [a real outfielder].”
Drama in the Bronx is brewing and, my friends, it certainly isn’t pretty.