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Miguel Andujar activated off injured list

Frazier could return Monday; Hicks nears rehab assignment
@BryanHoch
May 4, 2019

NEW YORK -- As Miguel Andújar spent most of April at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., working to strengthen his injured right shoulder, he found it difficult to watch the team's games on television while being unable to help the big league squad. That changed Saturday, when Andujar was

NEW YORK -- As Miguel Andújar spent most of April at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., working to strengthen his injured right shoulder, he found it difficult to watch the team's games on television while being unable to help the big league squad.

That changed Saturday, when Andujar was activated from the injured list. Batting cleanup and starting at third, Andujar was in the lineup for the first time since he sustained a partial tear of his right labrum diving into third base during a March 31 game against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. He went 1-for-3 with a walk in the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Twins, though he committed two errors.

Box score

"Every day, I feel better," Andujar said through an interpreter. "I have to keep on working on my shoulder, keep getting the strength back. If things keep improving the way they have been improving day by day, I feel really good about that."

After easing into action in extended spring games, Andujar played in three rehab games for Class A Advanced Tampa, going 3-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs. Andujar said his throwing feels "normal" and that he was able to make strong throws across the infield during his Minor League action, adding that the injury "doesn't cross my mind at all."

"Getting into a game and playing, seeing action on the field, was probably the most important thing for me," Andujar said. "I did that in Tampa, played in a couple of games down there, and everything felt good. That being said, I've got to keep working on my shoulder, keep stretching and keep doing all the rehab work and the maintenance that goes along when you suffer an injury like mine."

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that while he considers Andujar ready to play third base, Boone plans to use him mostly as a designated hitter in the short term, allowing Gio Urshela to continue starting at third base.

"With our roster the way it's set up right now, Gio will play a lot of third so we can DH Miggy a fair amount as well," Boone said. "We'll just kind of mix and match based on the day, but I feel comfortable that he's ready to go from a defensive standpoint."

Andujar said that, until further notice, he anticipates he will be able to avoid season-ending surgery. Boone echoed that, saying the club is "optimistic" Andujar's return will be permanent.

"He's passed some significant tests as far as the shoulder and how he's doing," Boone said. "We feel good about that he's ready to handle this and excited to get him back in the mix. Miggy is a really good player. Especially with so many guys out right now, to get a guy that swings the bat the way Miguel does back in the fold, I think it'll add some length to the lineup."

In anticipation of Andujar's return, the Yankees optioned first baseman Mike Ford to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday's 6-3 victory over the Twins.

Comeback trail
Clint Frazier (left ankle sprain) went through a full on-field workout prior to Friday's game at Yankee Stadium, then departed to join Double-A Trenton for their series in Harrisburg, Pa. Frazier is expected to play in Minor League rehab games Saturday and Sunday, then could be activated for Monday's game against the Mariners.

Down in Florida, Aaron Hicks (left lower back strain) is continuing to collect at-bats in extended spring games. He is expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Tampa on Monday.

"He's doing really well," Boone said. "He's conceivably a week to 10 days out now, depending on when we get him here. He has been able to amass, from a volume standpoint, quite a bit of at-bats during these last few days."

In addition, Boone relayed encouraging news about shortstop Didi Gregorius, who continues to hit his checkpoints as he recovers from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"He is potentially a few weeks away from starting a rehab assignment," Boone said. "He's doing really well. I would say so far, it's been best-case scenario as far as how it's unfolded and where he's at in his comeback."

Bombers bits
Aaron Judge (left oblique strain) has not resumed baseball activities, but Boone said the outfielder continues to show improvements each day as he performs range of motion and lower body exercises. The team has not offered a timetable for Judge's potential return.

DJ LeMahieu (inflammation in right knee) ran the bases and performed defensive work Friday. Boone said LeMahieu was available off the bench and could return to the lineup Saturday.

Troy Tulowitzki (left calf strain) was rehabbing with Andujar in Tampa, but the shortstop experienced a setback with his recovery, requiring a pinch-runner after his most recent at-bat Wednesday. Boone estimated the new strain will cost Tulowitzki another week.

This date in Yankees history
May 3, 1936: Joe DiMaggio made his Major League debut, going 3-for-6 with three runs, a triple and an RBI in the Yankees' 14-5 victory over the Browns at Yankee Stadium.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.