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The Thairo Estrada vs. Tyler Wade Debate

The “Next Man Up” philosophy will continue into the 2020 season, but it is a little different from last year. Many players will begin the season on the IL, but due to COVID-19 and not a physical injury from the game.

DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa both tested positive for the virus and will more than likely not be ready for Opening Day on July 23. The Yankees have already found a replacement for Cessa in Clarke Schmidt or Michael King, but LeMahieu’s replacement may be a little trickier.

A first, and possible option is to send Gleyber Torres back to second base where he has played most of his Major League career. The only downside to this move is that the Yankees want Torres to develop his game at shortstop, his natural position, and moving him back to second base will stump that development.

Keeping Torres at shortstop means that there are two options the Yankees can go with to man second base until LeMahieu comes back healthy… Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade. Let’s take a look at each of these young players.

Estrada made his Major League debut with the Yankees last season, appearing in 35 games with a .250 average and three home runs. He was used as a utility player, playing 17 games at second base and not committing a single error while also playing shortstop, left field and right field.

Wade has been up and down between Scranton and New York since the 2017 season, and was finally able to achieve some success at the plate this past season, hitting .245 with two home runs in 108 plate appearances. Like Estrada, Wade was used as a utility player, playing 18 games at second base, 18 between all three positions in the outfield, five at third base and four at shortstop while only committing one error the entire season.

Both of these players are relatively close when it comes to statistics, but who will have the bigger edge? Each of them has speed, effective defense and hit for roughly the same average. But they both have sharp differences.

Estrada has more pop in his bat, which might come in handy towards the bottom of the lineup. However, Wade is a left-handed bat that will help balance the right-handed dominant lineup. These are just the most obvious advantages for each player.

A simple solution, which I believe will be the case, is to use both of these players. If a left-handed pitcher is in, expect to see Estrada and vice versa for Wade. Aaron Boone may be looking at both of these players as possible replacements for LeMahieu if he decides to leave via free agency at the end of the season.

One thing is for sure… the Yankees have valuable depth. It will now be a matter of who can out-battle who for the starting position at second base.


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