Yankees are dropping like flies, and tonight, Starlin Castro took the fall. While running out a grounder, Castro pulled up just before reaching the bag, noticeably limping. Later in the game, the Yankees announced that Castro suffered a right hamstring strain. Further testing will reveal the severity of the injury and an estimated return date. For now, it's evident that Castro will be placed on the disabled list and Tyler Wade will replace him on the roster.
No player's ideal debut comes on the heels of a starter's injury, but in this instance, it's not like Wade hadn't merited a promotion to the big leagues. Wade, a left-handed hitter, has always posted respectable minor league offensive numbers buoyed by high stolen base totals. This year, he's taken a step forward in Triple-A, hitting .313/.390/.445 with 24 steals in 28 attempts. He's also walked at 10.5% clip and made plenty of contact, striking out only 17.2% of the time. Wade will never be mistaken for a power hitter, but he has exhibited more pop in 2017, already matching a career high 5 home runs while posting a lifetime best .132 ISO (.089 was his previous high last year in Double-A).
Though Wade's offensive numbers are impressive, he's probably something like Ronald Torreyes with more value on the basepaths. Right now, Steamer projects an unexciting .248/.310/.340 (74 wRC+), which is similar to Torreyes' current 79 wRC+. Further like Torreyes, Wade can play all over the field, spending time at shortstop, second and third base, and the outfield this season. Wade's versatility has drawn some comparisons to Ben Zobrist, which is unfair to the 22 year-old prospect. I guess that's what happens to any interesting prospect who can play a handful of positions.
It's hard to imagine the Yankees promoting Wade only to have him play sporadically, so expect him to start at second base while Castro is down. The aforementioned Torreyes had an extended stretch as a starter in place of Didi Gregorius earlier this year, and would probably do fine filling in at second, but the Yankees know what Torreyes is. Though I mentioned that Wade's hitting profile is likely similar to Torreyes, the Yankees can't know that for sure without giving Wade an opportunity. If there are any Rob Refsnyder die-hards still out there pining for him to get a chance, I'm sorry, but it's not happening here. Finally, whither Gleyber Torres? This might have been his chance had he not gone down last week.
Postgame update: Looks like there's a chance Castro avoids a trip to the disabled list. Regardless, that shouldn't jeopardize Wade joining the roster tomorrow. The Yankees are currently carrying 13 pitchers and could easily option Domingo German or Ronald Herrera.