Five potential replacements on the roster for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury
The Yankees suffered an injury on the first pitch of tonight’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Alcides Escobar crushed a ball to deep center off of Luis Severino that Jacoby Ellsbury caught behind his back, and then collided with the wall and fell awkwardly. He was very slow to get up, and Joe Girardi and Steve Donahue rushed out to the warning track in center field to check up on Ellsbury. They appeared to give him the concussion protocol, and he convinced them to allow him to remain in the game.
As convincing as Ellsbury may have been about his injury, Aaron Hicks was inserted into the game to replace him in the second inning. Later in the game, it was revealed that Ellsbury had suffered a neck sprain and a concussion. While the Yankees could possibly wait it out, they are in the midst of a long stretch of games with minimal breaks. A disabled list stint is likely, so a corresponding roster move will be needed. Who will be called up? Here are five internal possible candidates:
Rob Refsynder has already experienced the Scranton Shuttle this season and in limited action is 0-for-3 with a run scored in three games for the Yankees. Refsynder has been continuing to play the outfield sparingly in Scranton in order to further increase his versatility. He is hitting a solid .296 in Scranton and could also fill in at other positions around the diamond. He is no stranger to limited playing time and unexpected fill-ins. Refsynder is on the forty-man roster, which means no roster move other than a disabled list move would be necessary.
Final Prediction: It is possible, but the Yankees will likely want an experienced outfielder to be on the roster as their fourth outfielder.
Mason Williams has had a slow start in AAA, after his injury plagued 2016 season. He is slashing .227/.268/.247, which is good for the lowest total on Scranton among players with one hundred at-bats. On the flip side, the former top prospect has already had a few short stints in the majors and has been productive, hitting .292 in limited action. Williams is also known to be a solid defender and already has a spot on the forty-man roster.
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Tyler Wade is a man on a mission in AAA. After being snubbed of an opening day roster spot to the legendary Pete Kozma, Wade has continued to hit very well in Scranton. He is getting on base at a .380 clip, which would be third on the Yankees. He has also stolen twelve bases. Wade is an infielder by nature, but has had limited action in the outfield for Scranton and worked out there in Spring Training. The Yankees see him as a Ben Zobrist or Brock Holt type player, and he deserves a crack at the game’s highest level.
Final Prediction: While he is due for a call up, Wade is likely in the same boat as Ref in terms of not being an experienced outfielder. He would also require a roster move to gain a spot on the forty-man.
Dustin Fowler and Clint Frazier
Both Fowler and Frazier are the two players that most Yankee fans are going to want to see called up. They’re among the Yankees top prospects and have performed well in many levels of the minors. Let’s start with Fowler. Fowler jumped onto the Yankee prospect radar last season, after driving in eighty-eight runs, stealing twenty-five bases, and hitting a whopping fifteen triples. Fowler has continued to mash this season, including hitting for the cycle back in April, and could be extremely close to being able to play every day at the next level. Clint Frazier was acquired from the Cleveland Indians last summer for Andrew Miller and has quickly become a fan favorite without even stepping foot on the Yankee Stadium dirt. Frazier got off to a slow start in AAA this season, but has stepped it up as of late. His average is down, but he has fourteen doubles and seven long balls.