DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Yankees have suggested that Brandon Drury arrived in camp as a front-runner to serve as the Opening Day third baseman, but Miguel Andujar's loud bat could persuade the decision-makers to continue pondering that call down to the wire.Andujar homered for the second consecutive game in Tuesday's
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Yankees have suggested that Brandon Drury arrived in camp as a front-runner to serve as the Opening Day third baseman, but Miguel Andujar's loud bat could persuade the decision-makers to continue pondering that call down to the wire.
Andujar homered for the second consecutive game in Tuesday's 9-8 Grapefruit League victory over the Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium, a sixth-inning blast off Justin Shafer. That came one day after Andujar slugged a walk-off to defeat the Phillies, 4-3, at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
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"It's not about sending a message," Andujar said through an interpreter. "It's about doing your job, playing good and helping your team. That's the way I see it. I'm just doing my job."
General manager Brian Cashman said that despite trading for Drury earlier this month, the Yankees have high hopes for the 22-year-old Andujar, who is ranked as the Yankees' No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
"He's already opened our eyes -- not with this camp, but what he's done and where he's at in his career," Cashman said. "The competition is always good. We try to line up as much of that as we can because I think it brings out the best in people."
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Andujar was 4-for-7 (.571) in the big leagues last year, leading all Yankees Minor Leaguers in batting average (.315) and doubles (36). He also ranked third with 82 RBIs and fourth with a career-high 16 homers.
"I came in expecting a lot, frankly, and I'm excited with what I've seen," manager Aaron Boone said. "I've seen what I feel like is progress on the defensive side. I feel like he's going to be a really good player in this league."
While scouts believe that Andujar's bat is big league-ready, they are less certain about his glovework at third base. Andujar said that he has been working with infield coach Carlos Mendoza on his footwork and throwing.
"From a year ago, what I've been wanting to do is be more focused and repeat the good things that you do on the field," Andujar said. "Be more consistent on that side of the game. I work hard with the coaches, go through the routines and the drills to help me be more consistent and keep repeating the good stuff."
Chad Green's dominance out of the bullpen prompted comparisons to Mariano Rivera's memorable 1996 campaign, and while it seems probable that the right-hander will return to a relief role in 2018, he aims to prove that he's also capable of handling a spot in the rotation.
Green worked a scoreless first inning, served up a second-inning Russell Martin homer and was chased by a Kevin Pillar double on Tuesday. He said that his fastball and slider were solid, but he worked too many deep counts.
"I look at every outing as an opportunity," Green said. "I'm trying to go out there and get guys out. It's obviously frustrating when you're one or two pitches from being out of that inning, but at the same time, I felt good."
Green posted a 13.43 K/9 rate out of the bullpen last year, ranking fifth best among American League relievers. He believes that he could reach a similar comfort level if given the opportunity to start, but has yet to prove it; he has compiled a 6.10 ERA in nine big league starts.
"Everybody wants to be a starter, but I think my role will play itself out in the next couple of weeks or so, especially with there being four weeks until the season starts," Green said. "I think there will be a decision made pretty quickly. I'm not really too worried about it now."
Non-roster invitee Danny Espinosa hit a fourth-inning homer off Toronto's Carlos Ramirez on Tuesday. Espinosa is vying for one of the infield vacancies, along with Andujar, Jace Peterson, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade.
Clint Frazier (concussion) resumed riding a stationary bike on Tuesday. Boone said that he has been encouraged that Frazier's concussion seems to be mild, and believes that Frazier should be able to return to action shortly.
He said it: "[Seahawks coach] Pete Carroll hasn't reached out to me just yet, but after he sees that I'm open to it, I might get a call."
-- Cashman, after saying that he'd like to see Russell Wilson get a Grapefruit League at-bat
Up next:Aaron Judge is scheduled to be in the lineup as the designated hitter when the Yankees host the Tigers on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Tampa, Fla., on MLB.TV, and it will be the first time he and Giancarlo Stanton will be in the same lineup. It's Judge's first game action of the spring, as he's coming off left shoulder surgery performed in November. Luis Cessa is scheduled to start for New York opposite Detroit's Daniel Norris.