The New York Yankees seem determined to move Miguel Andujar to the outfield in an effort to get him more playing time.
When spring training first began, the New York Yankees started giving Miguel Andujar a look in the outfield. He was OK in his first drills in the outfield, but it was clear he was struggling. After all, Andujar has never played the outfield before.
Despite his early struggles and his history as a defender, the Yankees have continued with the experiment. On Tuesday, Andujar was once again part of the Yankees outfield rotation.
Miguel Andujar getting in some work with the outfielders 👀 pic.twitter.com/2ajILMI5CV
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) February 18, 2020
In the video, Andujar and the other Yankees’ outfielders are working on charging a ball. Andujar looks much smoother here than he did shagging fly balls early in spring training. That shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Charging a ball is likely the only transferable skill form his time at third base. That said, Andujar struggled with charging balls at third base. He had -3 OAA on balls he had to come in on in 2018. Despite only nine attempts in 2019, he still had a -1 OAA on balls he had to charge in 2019.
The outfield offers Andujar more reaction time on balls he has to charge, which should help. His strong arm should also help ease the transition to the outfield.
First base always seemed to be the next logical step if Andujar ever moved off third, but the Yankees have resisted the temptation. They’d rather find a way to get both Andujar and Luke Voit’s bats into the lineup then put a good defensive team on the field.
That’s a dangerous gamble. If the Yankees learn anything for the New York Mets it should be that defense matters. The Mets National League-worst DRS in 2019 cost them a playoff spot.
While the New York Yankees seem strong enough to survive a poor defense in the regular season, October is different. A team can’t win the World Series with a poor defense.