The thing about next man up is that there first must be a last man down. Mike Tauchman has now been both for the New York Yankees.
They say that what goes up must come down. Unfortunately for New York Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman, that aphorism applies perfectly to him.
Tauchman suffered a grade-2 calf strain while fielding a single in left field at Fenway Park on Sunday. He’ll miss six to eight weeks, effectively ending his season, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
Mike Tauchman has a Grade 2 calf strain. He will miss six to eight weeks.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 9, 2019
When the Bombers brought Tauchman in via trade at the end of Spring Training 2019, they sent fans scurrying to Google to find out who he is. Then, almost everyone in the Yankees starting lineup got injured, and Tauchman took advantage.
The 28-year-old quickly became a leader of the next man up movement, becoming a household name in Yankee Land.
He came to New York with only 59 MLB bats, spread across two seasons with the Colorado Rockies. In that limited experience, he slashed just .153/.265/.203, with no homers and a mere two RBIs.
However, he broke out big time in the Bronx.
In 296 plate appearances with New York, Tauchman hit .277/.361/.504. He also mashed 13 home runs and drove in 47 runs.
But now he’s just the next man down.
News of Tauchman’s unlucky recovery timeframe comes on the heels of a similar prognosis for center fielder Aaron Hicks. That leaves Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Cameron Maybin—who’s dealing with a nagging wrist injury—to man the outfield.
They’ll be backed up by the defensively suspect Clint Frazier and a cast of infielders who dabble in outfield work.
Giancarlo Stanton is set to return in mid-September; but who knows what he can offer, since he’s only played in nine games this year.
Giancarlo Stanton could be ready to rejoin the Yankees during their homestand next week, Aaron Boone says.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) September 9, 2019
Basically, Tauchman is leaving a whole so massive that even the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Stanton may not be able to plug it.