Monday, April 26, 2021

The Yankee with the widest horizon of success or failure is starting his comeback

You know how one adorable tyke always holds the secret to controlling Kong, or Mothra, or Charlie Sheen? That's how I see Miguel Andujar. For all the crapola yet to come in 2021 - (expect an avalanche) - he's still the key to the monster. Miggy.

One week from tomorrow, the Scranton Railriders will play the Syracuse Mets in a stadium I used to remember, before teams began selling 10-year naming rights. (I think of it as "All For a Dollar Stadium" or "Your Name Here Stadium.") Come the night of Tuesday, May 4, the usual gaggle of reanimated corpses - political oil cans and professional windbags - will gather to scream epithets at fans and open what used to be the International League, before they realigned the minors into "alternative sites," which sound like C.I.A dark ops. 

The Railriders will bring the usual suspects: elders looking for one last fling with the Show, rising prospects (though it's the Yankees, so not many), pitchers riding the shuttle (Nick "Nolte" Nelson, Michael King, Brooks "The Great" Krisge) and rehabbing stars (Luke Voit, maybe... and Miggy.)

Right now, there is no easy path for Andujar's return. Gio Urshela is our starting 3B, and the OF - though increasingly mediocre - is full of RH bats. Miggy is recovering from strained hand muscles - that's a thing, I guess - which forced him to miss April, when he didn't thrill anybody in Camp Tampa: He went 2-15 with no HRs, before being shut down. 

That kept him from proving himself at 3B, the OF and even 1B. Beginning next week, we will know where the Yankees see him defensively or - gulp - if at age 26 we are looking at a fulltime DH? (What a devastating thing to do to a young player.) 

It's been three years since Miggy hit .297 with 27 HRs, numbers worthy of $30 Million LeMahieu. He hit enough doubles to be considered with Joe DiMaggio. The Yankees have him on contract through 2025, which makes him valuable to teams like Cleveland, who might be dumping salaries the trading deadline. If Miggy hits in Scranton, if he flashes a glove in the field, the Yankees will either find a place for him - (there will be injuries) - or shop him around. As a trade chip, he would - at the least - bring a bullpen lug nut or fifth starter. 

Not sure where the hell we'll be in late July. The scenarios are haunting: In a worst case, Cashman could be blowing up this roster. But probably, we will be within spitting distance of the wild card, the new Yankee bar of success.

Either way, the Death Barge faces the prospect of becoming NYC's fourth top sports story of 2021 - behind the Knicks, Mets and Nets (and, possibly, the Rangers.) If they finish out of the playoffs, with a lost September-October, Hal Steinbrenner will feel the financial pinch of a second pandemic. And Brian Cashman will probably find an exit.  

So if the Yankees are close, look for Cash to be making mad deals, and his biggest card would be a healthy Andjujar.

Final thought: I'm not pushing for the Yankees to trade Miggy. He's one of my faves, and all I've wanted over the last two years was to see him become a star. But here's the reality: That stardom might not happen in pinstripes. I'd rather see it come about somewhere, rather than not at all. And whatever happens, it will depend on what goes down in Scranton, beginning next week.

7 comments:

Celerino Sanchez said...

It's good thing we kept Ricky Nelson and left Garret Whitlock off the 40 man roster. HOF Cashman knows pitching.

Anonymous said...

"If they finish out of the playoffs ... Brian Cashman will probably find an exit."

Um ... I don't think so. The only way that guy leaves is if he's paid a visit by The Grim Reaper.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Couple of things...

1) Actually with the Jets drafting their new QB (along with 9 other guys) and the Daniel Jones in a put up or shut up year, the Yankees could be the 7th "top sports story" in NY.

They're that boring.

2) AnDUjar - They should play him exclusively at third in the minors, build him back up to serviceable and then ship him (The SF Giants need hitting and have pitching.) Totally sucks. I really like Miggy Two-Bags.

Doug K.

Alphonso said...

I fear to say this, but I think Andujar is already on the path of the other " great, rising stars" of the Yankees ( e.g. Frazier, Sanchez, Stanton, Judge, Torres, etc). They are "flashes" in the pan.

So is Andujar. One startling year. Great hopes and expectations.

Then, injuries.

Then, no where to play. No natural position.

Then, dog shit.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I fear that Alphonso is right, much as I, too, love "El Matador."

And Cashman leaving soon? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Kevin said...

Maybe that torn shoulder labrum is throwing his swing off? People keep forgetting about that, Greg Bird had that surgery and...... Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

I thought Greg Bird's problem was his feet.

Doug K.