New York Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman has healed from his calf injury and is excited for the upcoming 2020 campaign.
The story of the 2019 New York Yankees is an interesting one. They succumbed to a historic number of injuries but managed to put together a successful season. This is because so many stepped up when the team needed them. Mike Tauchman is one of these individuals.
Unfortunately, Tauchman’s fairytale season came to an abrupt halt in September. The outfielder suffered a Grade 2 calf strain that would sideline him for the rest of the year. But luckily, that setback won’t carry into 2020, as Tauchman notes he’s healthy and ready to play.
When asked about the injury, Tauchman said, “It was disappointing, but at the same time, motivating heading into this season,” per Scott Thompson of SNY.
He also mentioned that he feels “great.”
The Colorado Rockies traded Tauchman to the Yanks in exchange for pitcher Phillip Diehl in March of last year.
Tauchman was mostly a minor-leaguer during his time in the Rockies system. Through just 52 MLB games, he slashed a miserable .153/.265/.203 and notched an OPS of .468 and OPS+ of 20. He additionally smacked zero home runs while batting in just two runs.
When the Yankees acquired Tauchman, fans didn’t think anything would come of him. But boy, were they wrong.
In 87 games with the Bombers, Tauchman slashed .277/.361/.504 and recorded an OPS of .865 and OPS+ of 128. He also hit 13 home runs, drove in 47 runs, stole six bases, and walked 34 times.
As if his offense wasn’t spectacular enough, Tauchman proved to be a reliable defensive asset. He performed well at every outfield position but played most of the season in left field. In 472.2 innings from that spot, Tauchman compiled a DRS of 10 and UZR of 6.3.
The 29-year-old acknowledged the fact that players who didn’t carry many expectations last year ended up producing in a number of ways.
“I think that the group we had last year, there was a large number of us that weren’t counted on to play when you drew it up in spring training,” he said. “I think a lot of us, whether it was Gio Urshela or Mike Ford, Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade, we had a lot of guys that really stepped up and performed and led to obviously a successful regular season.”
Tauchman’s story of transforming from a player who seemed like a reserve outfielder at best into an important part of the Yankees outfield is remarkable. It’ll be interesting to see how he factors into New York’s plans in 2020.