Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Twice this weekend and then again last night, I had to hear that Tyler Austin is in the slump.  Last night, before he blasted a two-run home run to bring the Yankees within one of the Washington Nationals, YES said (paraphrased not exact quote), "Never mind Didi Gregorius being in slump, Tyler Austin is 0-12, he's struggling lately."  Um, no, he's not in a slump and the 0-12 stat is a not completely accurate in that Austin hasn't been playing everyday.  In fact, he was absent from the lineup for multiple games over the last couple of weeks in favor of Neil Walker.

According to CBS Sports, "Austin will remain on the bench for the third time in the past four games as Neil Walker draws the assignment at first base. With left-hander Brett Anderson taking the mound Sunday, expect Austin to rejoin the starting nine for the series finale."  So, to say that Austin is in a slump is just not a fair statement to make.

Source: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America

I don't often agree with analysts when they make assertions like the one that YES made last night and John Sterling made a couple of times over the weekend.  Tyler Austin has earned his keep and to say that he is filling in for Greg Bird is also not accurate.  Sure, it may have started that way, but Austin has been making a convincing case to be playing everyday in place of Bird, who will have to earn a spot in the starting lineup.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

According to Bryan Hoch's tweet before last night's game, "Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez & Ronald Torreyes were among the Yankees out for early BP with Marcus Thames."  And it's not just his offense.  Austin plays an excellent first base, diving and stretching to make plays like a seasoned infielder.  At 26-years-old, the right-handed Austin is batting .241 on the season with six home runs, 19 RBIs in only 23 games.  To me, the guy is nothing less than a team oriented, gritty player who deserves the success he is receiving.

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

I have seen announcers give players an unfair shake from time to time particularly on the national level, but this one really irritates me because it paints the wrong picture for a player who has really given his all this season. From being unafraid to defend himself and his team in a Red Sox brawl to diving to make a play preserving Luis Severino's shut out game against the Houston Astros earlier this month, Austin is a guy who should be playing everyday, even when Greg Bird returns and despite Neil Walker's contributions to the team.  It may be just my opinion, but he's better than YES says he is. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this article. I see Austin as a potential 30 homer player if he plays every day. The way it looks he may end up doing that for another team. Fans get so excited over a clutch single by Walker and don't seem to notice Austin hitting bombs. He has to be the most underappreciated rookie, since he leads all rookies in rbi's and doesn't play regularly. Bird might be even better, but Austin is certainly worth keeping.


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