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Yanks prospect Andujar makes season debut

Warren plays catch, should avoid DL; Ellsbury progressing slowly
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TORONTO -- Fortunately for the Yankees, Miguel Andujar always keeps his passport close by.

The big-swinging prospect boarded an international flight on Sunday morning, having been recalled to make his season debut against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, batting seventh and serving as the designated hitter. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the Yankees' 7-4 loss.

TORONTO -- Fortunately for the Yankees, Miguel Andujar always keeps his passport close by.

The big-swinging prospect boarded an international flight on Sunday morning, having been recalled to make his season debut against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, batting seventh and serving as the designated hitter. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the Yankees' 7-4 loss.

Rated as the Yanks' No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Andujar was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after fellow rookie Billy McKinney landed on the 10-day disabled list with an AC sprain in his left shoulder. 

"You definitely don't want to see a teammate get hurt," Andujar said through an interpreter. "It's definitely not the way you want to get called up. At the same time, I'm here and excited to be here. I'm ready to contribute in any way possible."

Despite four homers and a .928 spring OPS that won him the James P. Dawson Award, indicative of the top rookie in Yankees camp, Andujar was nudged out of consideration for the starting third-base job when Brandon Drury was acquired from the D-backs in late February.

Manager Aaron Boone said that Andujar is expected to see time at first and third base, in addition to DH.

"We know we're getting a really good hitter and he's going to get some opportunities to play here," Boone said. "We feel like he adds length to our lineup. I'm excited to have him in there, I know he's excited to be here and I know he feels like he's ready to be here. Hopefully he goes out and just gives us quality at-bats."

Andujar made his Major League debut last June 28 against the White Sox with a three-hit, four-RBI performance, then appeared in four more contests as a September callup. He was 4-for-7 (.571) with two doubles, a walk and a stolen base in those five games.

Last season, Andujar led all Yankees Minor Leaguers in batting average (.315) and doubles (36), ranked third in RBIs (82) and tied for fourth while setting a career high in homers (16) over 58 games at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and 67 games with Double-A Trenton.

"During my time here and talking to the guys here, you can learn the way they go about their business, how to prepare to win games," Andujar said. "It was a fun time last year, very exciting. From seeing everybody, you learn how to prepare and how to get ready mentally to win games."

Video: NYY@TOR: Wade drives in two with a double to center

Catch 'em if you can

Tyler Wade started at second base on Sunday, but with the Yankees suddenly lacking outfield depth, the 23-year-old has resumed taking fly balls and believes he is prepared to play there during the upcoming homestand.

"It started a couple of days ago. I kind of had a feeling," Wade said. "I'm just bobbing in the outfield, getting balls off the bat. I feel comfortable out there and I know they feel comfortable with me. Whoever needs an off-day or if they want to get somebody off their feet with a DH day, I can go out there and play."

Wade began playing outfield in the Arizona Fall League two years ago and started six games in the outfield for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. He's made seven appearances in left field and right field at the big league level, including one start at each spot. Wade said his easiest transition would be to play center field.

"There's less angles," Wade said. "If I was playing center today, it would be fine."

Video: NYY@TOR: Warren takes a line drive off his foot

Injury report

Adam Warren played catch on Sunday, one day after his right ankle was bruised by an Aledmys Diaz comebacker, and the Yankees are encouraged that the right-hander will be able to avoid the disabled list.

"He's actually probably better than I thought," Boone said. "He was out playing catch today, so we're pretty optimistic about him moving forward and hopefully not being a DL situation."

Jacoby Ellsbury is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, though Boone doesn't sound ready to pencil him into the lineup just yet. Ellsbury is continuing to compile at-bats at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla.

"I'm hopeful, but I'm not expecting anything," Boone said. "We're just following him day to day. Obviously we could really use him, but bottom line is he's got to be healthy and he's got to be ready. … His ability to bounce back each day is going to be critical, because once we get him here we want to feel like we can rely on him and we can count on him."

Ellsbury is closer to returning than Clint Frazier, who has not resumed playing in games following a late February concussion.

"We've talked about him building momentum over the last week or 10 days or so, which has been good," Boone said. "Hopefully we're starting to get into games for him. That's the next step, but I would say he's a little bit further off than Jacoby."

Bombers bits

• One day after slugging two homers, Tyler Austin landed on the bench for Sunday's finale. Boone said that it was "just a matchup thing," and that Austin is expected to play in Monday's home opener. Boone said he preferred having Neil Walker against Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, and to have Wade at second base with Sonny Gray being a ground-ball pitcher.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar