The Yankees have changed up their infield. Gio Urshela has been called up and Thairo Estrada has been sent down to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. Didi Gregorius was transferred to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man spot for Urshela. I thought this would be the move Thursday when Troy Tulowitzki got hurt. Close enough.
It seems the Yankees called up Estrada, who was already on the 40-man roster, following the Tulowitzki injury on Wednesday because it was the easiest move. That got them through Thursday, then the Yankees used yesterday’s off-day to reevaluate things and make a more long-term decision, which led to them summoning Urshela.
Estrada, 23, did not play Thursday and he really needs regular at-bats after missing most of last year to various injuries. Sitting on the big league bench and playing maybe twice a week isn’t what he needs at this point. Estrada has to play and play every single day. Triple-A Scranton is the best place for that.
The 27-year-old Urshela is a career .225/.274/.315 (57 wRC+) hitter in 499 big league plate appearances — he is 4-for-9 and two doubles in two Triple-A this year — but he’s an excellent third base defender who can play shortstop as well. The Yankees can sit him for days at a time and not worry about it.
My guess is Urshela and Tyler Wade will platoon for the time being. Urshela will play third base against lefties and Wade will play second base against righties, with DJ LeMahieu moving between second and third as necessary. That seems like the best way to maximize the personnel on the roster.
Urshela is out of minor league options, and because he is relatively young and can play the left side of the infield well, he’s a candidate to be lost on waivers when the time comes. I wonder if that means Wade is going to Triple-A when Tulowitzki returns? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s see Tulowitzki get healthy first.
Gregorius joins Ben Heller and Jordan Montgomery on the 60-day injured list. All three are rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Jacoby Ellsbury is likely a 60-day injured list candidate at this point, so he’ll be the next move when a 40-man spot is needed. Miguel Andujar would be a 60-day injured list candidate should he need season-ending shoulder surgery.