The Yankees have been forced to make several call-ups this season, due to the 13 players currently on the IL. While the injured Yanks represent a virtual All-Star team, the team that is taking the field on a daily basis is made up of players not expected to be an integral part of the club.
Let's rank some of those players based on their ability to continue delivering "next man up" production (potentially in increased roles) throughout the rest of the season...
No. 6 - Jonathan Loaisiga
Loaisiga is already back up after a two-start stint at the outset of the season. He was initially set to start Tuesday night's game, but was instead brought in to act as the long reliever after the extra-inning affair Monday. While Loaisiga is primed to be a starter in the future, this current stay as a reliever might create a new avenue for him to contribute this season. With some relievers having issues this season (see below), having another dynamic arm in the bullpen would help in 2019 and allow Loaisiga to get important experience against big league hitters.
No. 5 - Joe Harvey
Harvey was just optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in favor of Loaisiga, but the former's four-appearance stay with New York opened some eyes. In five innings, Harvey pitched to a 1.80 ERA with six strikeouts. Once Loaisiga is finished with his second stint with the Yankees, Harvey might be retrieved based on his performance. Long term, with relievers like Chad Green and Jonathan Holder struggling and wavering respectively, Harvey could be ready to take a larger part in the bullpen as the season progresses.
No. 4 - Mike Tauchman
Tauchman wasn't even a Yankee until just before the season began. Yet, here he is hitting in the middle of the lineup at the end of April. His batting average (.214) is nothing to write home about, but he does have three homers and a .850 OPS courtesy of more reps with the outfield configuration completely depleted. Tauchman has a chance to stick around (or bounce back and forth between the minors) and be impactful because he is able to play center field. If we consider that Aaron Hicks' back problems might not simply go away then we can see why Tauchman -- a bonafide center fielder -- is important to the club. Tauchman, who has shown to be perfectly suited to hit in Yankee Stadium, could also benefit from any struggles from Brett Gardner.
No. 3 - Gio Urshela
Urshela has always been considered a valuable fielder and that automatically extends him some rope with the Yankees. Now that Urshela, who was the hero Monday night, has held his own on the offensive side (.282 batting average) and delivered some key hits along the way, his value increases. Obviously, the Yankees would like to have Miguel Andujar's power back in the lineup, but with his shoulder injury it is entirely possible that will only come as a designated hitter. While Urshela might need to share some duties at third base with DJ LeMahieu if Andujar cannot cover the hot corner this season, the former is capable of maintaining solid defense and enough offense to make an impact.
No. 2 - Domingo German
German has been excellent so far this season and kept rolling in Tuesday's outing. German touts a shiny 1.75 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 28 strikeouts across 25.2 innings (four starts, one relief appearance). He made a mark in 2018, but was wildly inconsistent. In 2019, German has shown that he learned from the experience last season and appears to maintain self-confidence, which is clearly paying off. The Yankees rotation is without ace Luis Severino. And even if he is able to return it seems almost certain that someone else will go down with an injury along the way, which will provide German opportunity to continue to produce.
No. 1 - Clint Frazier
Frazier sitting No. 1 on this list should not be a surprise considering his red hot production of late. Frazier, who is slashing .324/.342/.487 with six homers and 17 RBI, continues to make the most of his latest chance to impress the Yankees brass to the point that he could begin to force himself into a higher position on the depth chart. That becomes important when Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton return to the lineup. The Yankees could fluctuate between Frazier and Stanton in right field and DH. There is also the chance that Frazier steals some starts from Gardner. And if he does, the 24-year-old might be on his way to a breakout campaign at a time that the Yankees need one.