Tyler Austin should be called up to the Majors ASAP

On Monday, June 5th, the Yankees announced the reinstatement of Tyler Austin from the 60-day DL. Austin was subsequently optioned to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. In the days leading up to spring training, Austin suffered a broken left foot. Coming into the 2017 season, Austin was a favorite to land a roster spot for the Yankees, as he was expected to provide the Bombers with some pop off the bench, and the versatility to back up first baseman Greg Bird, third baseman Chase Headley, and occasionally play both corner outfield positions. With Bird's early struggles and stint on the disabled list, a healthy Austin would have been a much more compelling option to get at bats than the ever slumping Chris Carter. Now, with Austin potentially slated to return to the Bronx any day now, the Yankees must map out a role for this Baby Bomber.

Photo Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire 


Instead of immediately recalling Austin, the Yankees opted to send the 25-year old to Scranton, presumably to get more at bats to offset the time he missed in spring training. Though there is some logic underlying the decision, at this current juncture in time the Yankees need his offensive production in the majors. Chris Carter has been horrendous. Rob Refsnyder doesn't really have a role on the major league squad. The Yankees are also short an outfielder, with Jacoby Ellsbury recovering from the after effects of his recent concussion. During his rehab assignment, Austin excelled at all levels, going 16-48 in 14 games. Because he performed adequately after being called up last August, Austin deserves to be getting at bats over Carter and Refsnyder, both of whom have no future with this organization.

With Greg Bird due to return from his own DL stint in the foreseeable future, the urgency of Austin's return has been minimized. That being said, Bird is not yet ready. Continuing to play a guy in Chris Carter, who is essentially an automatic out, conflicts with the Yankees interests, especially when they have a capable replacement ready in the minors. When Bird returns, the Yankees will once again give him every opportunity possible to develop into the starting first baseman for years to come. Following his call up in 2015, Bird showed glimpses of the player the Yankees hope he can be, as he hit .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 46 games. Until Bird is ready to return, Austin should immediately be inserted as the starting first baseman. Playing the combination of Carter and Refsnyder is inexcusable.

With Ellsbury on the seven-day concussion DL, the current outfield of Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge is one of the best in all of baseball. With Ellsbury experiencing complications and expected to miss more time than the club originally thought would be the case, the Yankees only backup outfielder on the roster in Refsnyder. Calling up Austin would solve this problem. Austin can competently play both corner outfield positions. Joe Girardi loves to rest his players so it's only a matter of time before he starts giving some of his outfielders days off. I'm much more comfortable with Austin playing the field and getting at bats than I am with Refsnyder.

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Chase Headley has been abominable this season. Despite getting off to a great start in April, Headley has been unable to consistently put together good at bats, and reach base. It's gotten so bad that the sources have reported that the Yankees believe top prospect Gleyber Torres will make his way to the Bronx sooner rather than later this season. This spells trouble for Headley, unless he starts hitting. Ronald Torreyes is the current back up infielder, and he plays a pretty good third base, so he continues to be the most logical short-term Headley replacement. Austin does, however, have experience playing third. If need be, the Yankees can feel comfortable knowing they have another option on the roster they can trust at the position.

Tyler Austin should be called up to majors as soon as possible. Leaving him in Scranton to get more at bats to make up for those that he missed during spring training is a disservice to the team. First base has been a virtual black hole this season. Yes, Bird is expected to return very soon. However, any at bats that Carter gets from here on out are inexcusable. Austin is an exciting young player who showed last season that he deserves a shot in the Majors. The 25-year old Austin can start at first base until Bird is ready to return, fill in at both corner outfield positions, play third base if needed, and provide the Bombers with a power bat off the bench late in games. Let's not forget, he did have a walk off home run last season.

Attention Yankees: Call up Austin, ASAP! He can contribute much more to the club than either Refsnyder or Carter, and it's blatantly obvious!

Article by: Steven Eareckson

Comments

  1. I completely agree. As we are witnessing a fantastic transition on Yanks one has to question the wisdom of giving Carter any more at bats over a TYLER Austin. Carter was and I repeat was a good idea over the winter. Time to admit it was a mistake and give the kid an opportunity. It's a no life, no Brainerd move.

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  2. stuff and nonsense. Austen doesn't git on the club at this point. he's a righty swinging offensive power hitter and the the club is stuffed with righty swinging power hitters and has a surplus of offense.

    far better to keep Austen down in the minors for now and let him play every day.

    the Yankees are far more in need of the left-handed Greg Bird, their starting 1B, who is perhaps two weeks away from being ready to return to the Bronx. .... and who is the big lefty bat that the team needs in the middle of the line-up

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