Mike Tauchman injury scare clouds Yankees roster plans



CLEARWATER, Fla. — Mike Tauchman’s role on the 2021 Yankees has yet to be fully defined. An injury wouldn’t help him find much clarity.

Tauchman fouled a ball off his right shin during an at-bat in the top of the second of the Yankees’ 6-2 loss to the Phillies on Sunday at BayCare Ballpark. He stayed in the game, but was replaced in left field an inning later by Ryan LaMarre.

Aaron Boone said after the game Tauchman was removed to avoid swelling and that no X-ray was scheduled “as of now.”

“We’ll see how it is in the morning,’’ the manager said.

Clint Frazier also gave the Yankees a brief scare when he came up in discomfort after a slide into third later in the game, but Boone said he was fine. Frazier was in right field to get him accustomed to the position if he needs to be used there occasionally, Boone said.

The Yankees are still trying to sort out their final roster spots, with Justin Wilson dealing with shoulder tightness that sidelined him briefly. The left-hander may need a brief stint on the IL to open the season.

Boone said he wasn’t sure if the roster would be finalized by the time the team heads to New York following Monday’s Grapefruit League finale against the Tigers in Tampa.

Mike Tauchman
Mike Tauchman

Among the other decisions they need to make is what to do with Tyler Wade, who has struggled at the plate and still has minor league options remaining.

Boone praised Wade’s “defensive versatility” and ability to play shortstop and the outfield, as well as his speed on the basepaths, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be there to open the regular season.

Gio Urshela said his surgically repaired right elbow has held up fine during the spring and he’d be comfortable if called upon to play shortstop occasionally. He’s continued to take grounders there after playing in one Grapefruit League game at the position.

Jay Bruce started at first base as he prepares for regular playing time there in the wake of Luke Voit’s injury. He looked fine Sunday, fielding a routine grounder and making a scoop on a wide throw from DJ LeMahieu — who was at third — that pulled Bruce off the bag.

Bruce also hit a hard double off the wall in right-center.

Boone said where Bruce hits in the lineup would be dictated in part by who the team was facing. With left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu slated to start for Toronto on Opening Day in The Bronx, Boone said Bruce could be the lone left-handed bat in the lineup.

“We’ll try to be strategic with where we put him,’’ Boone said. “He’s more than held his own against lefties anyway.”

Miguel Andujar is still dealing with some right wrist discomfort. Boone said Andujar hit off a tee and threw “a couple of days ago” after days of being symptom-free, but then had some soreness and backed off.

“[Saturday] was a better day,’’ Boone said. “He’s certainly getting better, but he’s not out of the woods yet.”


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