Is Miguel Andujar’s excellent offense from two years ago finally back for the offensively-challenged New York Yankees?
The New York Yankees may very well be the most unwatchable team in baseball right now. It appears as though nothing is going well for them.
The injuries to their best players keep piling up, the pitching, even from the bullpen, hasn’t been great, manager Aaron Boone is struggling to push the right buttons, and too many hitters have gone cold.
However, Miguel Andujar is not one of them.
Andujar got off to the coldest possible start to the season. In his first nine games of the year, he had just two hits and one walk in 23 plate appearances. His struggles didn’t go unnoticed: He was sent to the alternate site more than once.
However, it was inevitable that he would return to the team since players are constantly going down with injuries. Since the second game of the Yankees’ doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 26, Andujar has been the team’s hottest hitter.
Over that span, in 19 at-bats, Andujar has seven hits, two walks, two strikeouts, has scored three runs, and even recorded his first RBI of the year. In Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Andujar had three of the Yankees’ four hits.
This is important for several reasons.
The Yankees have been absolutely decimated by injuries to their best players and the guys who need to pick up the slack haven’t been doing so, lately.
Gary Sanchez is the worst hitter in the league this season. Brett Gardner’s age is showing. Gleyber Torres did just come off the IL but was struggling mightily to start of the season. Aaron Hicks hasn’t been able to truly get things going with the bat.
If the Yankees hope to escape this hole, they’re going to need someone to spark the lineup. Right now, signs point to Andujar being that guy.
Andujar getting back on track and playing like he did in 2018 when he finished as the runner up in AL Rookie of the Year voting is great for the Yankees down the stretch.
When the team does get healthy, a good Andujar will make a great lineup even better, especially in the playoffs. This may be a bold statement but Andujar could end up becoming the Yankees’ x-factor.
He launched his first home run of the year in a huge game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Miguel Andujar is quietly heating up ???pic.twitter.com/vDGIJPQiW7
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) September 8, 2020
Andujar might also be building up his trade value. The argument that there isn’t room for him on the Yankees is a very fair one. The case to trade him has been a strong one since his value was so high the past two years.
Because he had a rough start to the season and is a poor defender, his value decreased. A strong finish to the season may draw serious interest from multiple teams.
In any case, it’s in the best interest of the Yankees for Andujar to get things going and stay hot, especially until the team gets some of its reinforcements back.