Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Photo Credit: Associated Press
It’s almost as if the Yankees made a trade with their own Injured List. The day that Gio Urshela returned to action, Mike Tauchman pulled a muscle in his left calf and yesterday found out that he will be out for 6-8 weeks. That would be well into the postseason, if not well after. A devastating loss for sure, he’s been the stalwart in left field more than anyone else this season. His second half hitting stats are incredible – a slash line of .315/.395/.582 and an OPS of .977 made him an everyday automatic in the lineup. He also had great clutch stats - his batting average was 20 points higher in high leverage situations versus low leverage situations (.297 vs .277), and more than 30 points higher against winning teams versus losing teams (.295 vs .261).

Photo Credit: Associated Press
I compare him with Urshela because when you look at the top WAR values on the Yankees, Tauchman is ranked fourth and Urshela is ranked sixth. It seems that would be an even substitution, assuming you could get him in the lineup every night. How hard could that be? Unfortunately, he has the misfortune of playing primarily at third base. That position is currently occupied by the guy ranked #1 in WAR on the Yankees – DJ LeMahieu. To get Urshela into games, the Yankees seem to follow a script. When one of the other infielders needs a night off, LeMahieu moves to second or first and Urshela plays third. That script doesn’t work in October, when no one gets a night off and they have to put the top players in the lineup every night. Urshela has played all but 6 innings this season at third, so either he’s not comfortable anywhere else, or the Yankees don’t trust him anywhere else. In case you’re thinking of putting him at DH, if you read our earlier piece DESIGNATED HITTER ROULETTE: WHO'S IN? WHO'S OUT?, you know that’s a very crowded slot.

In all likelihood, Cameron Maybin will be replacing Tauchman in left. He spent the most time in that position following Tauchman and Brett Gardner, who spent most of his time in center field. His clutch hitting stats are good, though not as dramatic as those of Tauchman. His fielding stats noticeably lower than those of Tauchman, who did not record an error this season. Anybody else filling in at left field would be trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

New York Yankees: Mike Tauchman Continues To Lead The Way
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
So while you cannot replace a guy like Tauchman, the Yankees have options. They’re not great, but they’re not terrible. And who knows. Maybe 6-8 weeks will turn into 4 weeks.

--Ike Dimitriadis
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon 

1 comment:

  1. So if the Yankees don't plug Frazier in LF then they should had traded him.
    Let the kid play , he has bat speed , energetic and will only get better by playing.
    The talk of playing Estrada or any other non outfielder is just plain wrong.
    You know Hicks took strange routes when he first was a Yankee in all three positions he played pn it stuck with him.From what I see he has accurate arm as he cut down runners at AAA and MLB.So you play him and substitute Maybin late if not a blowout.Were destroying a kid who wants to play and play for the Yankees.
    There is no need for anyone other than Frazier to be in LF.In fact he should had played LF last night and Maybin in CF and rested Gardy.
    Boone does some very stupid lineups and changing the order of hitting from 3-9 almost daily is stupid.


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