Miguel Andujar’s bat has put him in position to be the AL Rookie of the Year, but his climbing error total can’t be ignored.
The neophyte third baseman committed a throwing error and a fielding error in Sunday’s 7-2 win over the Rangers. Luckily for the Yankees, the only damage was that the mistakes boosted CC Sabathia’s pitch count.
Andujar threw away Adrian Beltre’s grounder leading off the second inning. In the sixth, he backed up to field Elvis Andrus’ grounder and botched it. First baseman Luke Voit picked Andujar’s throw out of the dirt for the final out of the sixth or else Andujar would have been charged with a third error.
“Definitely a tough game,” said Andujar, whose 12 errors lead the Yankees. “That’s part of baseball. You’re going to have days like that. You’ve just got to keep working, keep preparing yourself for the next opportunity.”
Asked if the long throw was challenging, Andujar said it wasn’t.
“No, nothing I can pinpoint to. Like I’ve said before, errors are part of the game,’’ said Andujar, who was replaced by Neil Walker at third in the ninth with the Yankees leading 7-2. Walker, who started his second big-league game in right field, moved to third and Shane Robinson took over in right.
Andujar, who went 0-for-4 with an RBI and scored a run, said he was focusing on the next play instead of reflecting on the two errors.
“You’ve got to forget about it right away, because you’ve got to be ready for the next one,” said Andujar, who is batting .293 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs. “You’re going to get more ground balls, so you’ve got to be ready right away for the next opportunity. The game is not over.”
Aaron Boone isn’t sure when he will start Giancarlo Stanton in right field again. Stanton has been the DH for the past five games because of his left hamstring problem.
“I am not sure, day by day. I kind of feel we could almost use him now. I am just playing it real conservatively. Obviously he is not somebody we can afford to lose,” Boone said before Stanton homered in the first inning Sunday. “Just trying to be as smart as we can. We are riding him hard. He is a guy who hasn’t had a day [off]. I am trying to keep him fresh through this DH spot. It is something we are trying to stay on top of before, during and after each day and trying to make the best decision about him and when we get him back out there.”
Stanton has four homers in those past five games at DH.
Jonathan Holder working the final two innings Sunday doesn’t look all that impressive until you understand what kind of shape the Yankees’ bullpen was in. Or that he relieved Sonny Gray with two on and no outs in the eighth inning.
“We wanted to stay away from Dellin [Betances], Chappy [Aroldis Chapman] and [Zach] Britton for sure,’’ Boone said of the trio who worked a combined four innings Saturday with Britton throwing 25 pitches in two-thirds of an inning and Chapman requiring 29 pitches to secure the final three outs of a 5-3 win. “Robby [David Robertson] was our closer [Sunday] if we got into a closing situation. In a perfect world we really wanted to stay away from Robby, too.’’
Outside of a brutal five-game stretch July 25-Aug. 5, when the 25-year-old right-hander gave up 12 hits and 10 earned runs (27.00 ERA) in 3 ¹/₃ innings, Holder has been an important cog in the bullpen.
“He has had a couple of hiccups there, but he has been so consistent,’’ Boone said of Holder, who didn’t let the two runners score in the eighth. “He has a feel for three of his pitches and [that] enables him to get righties and lefties out.’’
Gary Sanchez is scheduled to work out in front of Yankees brass and medical staff starting Monday.
“He will hit indoors and get outside and run and start his catching stuff,’’ Boone said of his regular catcher, who has been out since July 24 with a strained right groin. “[Monday] hopefully looks to be a full day and really starting to ramp up.’’
According to Boone, Clint Frazier is making progress coming back post-concussion migraines in Tampa but isn’t symptom free.
“He is doing better. He hit in the cage and threw [Saturday]. We are hoping at some point he gets back outside and start ramping up the baseball activities,” Boone said. “Still feeling some symptoms in and out, but it seems like it is trending in the right direction.”
Britton’s first seven games with the Yankees haven’t been what the club expected when the left-handed reliever was acquired from the Orioles for a trio of minor leaguers. He has worked 6 ¹/₃ innings, allowed six hits, six walks and has an ERA of 7.11.
“What we are seeing stuff wise, arm-speed wise, physically he looks really good,’’ Boone said. “I think the adjustments he needs to make are minor. This has been an odd year for him, a different year.’’
Britton tore an Achilles’ tendon working out in the winter, had surgery, missed spring training and was dealt at the trade deadline.
The Yankees recognized trainer Steve Donohue for receiving the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award from the National Athletic Trainer Association during a pregame ceremony Sunday. Donohue was presented a Waterford Crystal by general manager Brian Cashman and assistant GM Jean Afterman.