Miguel Andujar is counting down the hours for his decision to be made for the New York Yankees. However, we know there is only one option.
There haven’t been many New York Yankees who were able to survive Thanos’s snap during the short 2019 season. In fact, many of these Bombers simply stated they “don’t feel so good” and then find themselves on a fast track to the injured list.
One of those unlucky fellows happened to be Miguel Andujar. After unfairly finishing second in the 2018 Rookie of the Year competition, Andujar succumbed to a freak injury on a dive back into third base after just three games.
Initially, the diagnosis was a partial labrum tear in his right shoulder with the option to choose surgery or take a chance on rehabilitation in order to come back sooner. He chose the latter.
Upon his return, has had three hits in nine games, averaging one strikeout a game. His approach at the plate hasn’t been confident and he is shying away from the helicopter swing that brought him so much success when healthy.
It has become clear that Andujar came back too early. His timing was off and he didn’t have enough of an opportunity to play in live-action games before being thrust back into the big league spotlight. He is so clearly still hurting and yet the Yankees, so desperate for another big bat in the lineup, rushed him back to fulfill their Bronx Bombers nickname.
Now manager Aaron Boone revealed on Tuesday that Andujar has to decide on whether he wants to continue rehab or succumb to surgery. So, which will he choose?
Miguel Andujar had another MRI today, which Aaron Boone said was basically identical to the first, which showed the small labrum tear. Andujar will decide in the next 24 hours whether he will continue to rehab or have surgery.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 14, 2019
With timelines for players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton still up in the air, the Yankees would kill to have Andujar back at full strength come the All-Star break. But is that truly the smartest option for this kid and his future?
It’s Andujar’s choice but it should be clear: He should opt for the surgery.
Surgery naturally has risks and Andujar clearly knows that. But if he’s thinking about it realistically, having surgery now will help him get the proper time to heal and emerge as another force in that Yankees lineup sometime next season.
His return in 2019 has been reminiscent of Gary Sanchez from last season. Sanchez left in June of 2018 with a groin injury and upon his return, he was still suffering from his initial injury. After a short stint back, Sanchez returned to the disabled list (as it was referred to at the time) and spent the rest of the season trying to salvage his ruined reputation from his poor performances.
Andujar is in the same boat. That injury has lingered far more than the Yankees would have hoped for and it’s making an impact on his performance.
Having surgery is not the ideal answer but with the second MRI declaring that not much has changed, clearly regular rehabilitation hasn’t been working. If he continues the way he has been going, surgery will likely be on the table later anyway. He runs the risk of missing the majority of two seasons instead of just one.
Right now, Andujar is not the hot hand. Gio Urshela has been having an uncharacteristically dominant season so far and his glove has clearly been an improvement over the young Andujar. Even if Urshela’s bat won’t hold up for the entire season, his glove will make a difference, especially once some of the big boppers return.
While Miguel Andujar clearly wants to play now (and the Yankees would love that too), he has to be considering his future with the team. The Yankees have already declared that Miguel Andujar is their third baseman for the future. He’s got incredible bat speed and is a doubles machine. Right now, he isn’t completely healed and that’s entirely okay.
The Bombers are keeping their head above water without him and, once more injured players return, they’ll be just fine. Andujar needs to schedule that surgery and start the healing process right away in anticipation of next season.
While not an easy choice to make, it is clearly the right one. An injured Andujar pretending to be the 2018 version is a detriment to the team. A healthy Andujar ready to fight during the 2020 season? Now that is something we can all get behind.
So while Andujar debates what to do, we all know what he should do: Have that surgery and come back at full-force in 2020.
Now we count down the hours until we hear Miguel Andujar’s decision and just hope he makes the right one.