It was the scenario the Yankees didn't want to see occur, but it finally became the only option.
The team announced on Wednesday night that Miguel Andujar will undergo surgery to repair the torn labrum in his right shoulder. It will be on Monday with Dr. Christopher Ahmad performing the surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Andujar initially saw the injury arise at the beginning of the season, where he only played in three games before hitting the Injured List. While and MRI revealed a torn labrum, the Yankees believed he could rehab it cautiously so they could avoid surgery.
It appeared to work at first, as Andujar was responding well to his throwing and hitting programs. After rehab games, he eventually returned to the team on May 4.
But, over the next nine games, Andujar struggled as he collected just one hit in 35 plate appearances. We learned why those struggles came about, as his shoulder pain was still there. He was placed back on the IL Monday, and an MRI Tuesday revealed a small labrum tear once again.
This is a big letdown for the Yankees, who all offseason stuck to his development as the team's long-term third baseman. He was one of the main reasons why GM Brian Cashman was "lukewarm" on signing top free-agent Manny Machado, and his Rookie of the Year runner-up numbers of .297/.328/.527 with 27 homers and 92 RBI justified that.
Yes, his defense was shaky, but they believed his bat was MLB-ready and the glove could be worked on. But Andujar won't be able to display that maturation in his game until the 2020 season.
With Andujar out, the Yankees will have an even bigger role for Gio Urshela for the rest of the season. He has been a pivotal signing for the Bombers since the injury bug hit the Bronx, as he is hitting .341/.396/.505 with two homers and 15 RBI over 32 games this season. Urshela has had a knack for clutch situations as well, making his stock on the 25-man roster even greater.
There is also DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees utility infielder, that can fill in at third base when Urshela needs rest. He has been everything they envisioned when he came on this offseason, filling in wherever manager Aaron Boone needs him and producing in the process.
Andujar featured in just 12 games for the Yankees this season, where he struggled mightily at the plate. He went 6-for-47 with one RBI over that span.