Gio Urshela returned from an IL stint because of an elbow injury, and his presence led to Miguel Andujar being optioned to the alternate site in Scranton.
“Wanting to keep Gleyber out a day, we felt like we needed coverage in the middle infield on the bench [Tuesday],’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of keeping Thairo Estrada on the roster instead of the defensively limited Andujar.
After struggling for most of the season, Andujar had begun to produce at the plate, going 11-for-33 with a .975 OPS in his previous nine games.
In addition to optioning Andujar, the Yankees also sent down Mike Ford, as they needed to make room for Urshela and Giancarlo Stanton.
Ford was hitless in 22 plate appearances this month, with three walks. DJ LeMahieu can shift to first to back up Luke Voit.
The Yankees chose to jettison both Andujar and Ford while keeping Erik Kratz as an extra catcher.
“Our comfort level with three catchers — and not to potentially risk losing one of those guys — there were some difficult decisions, especially [Andujar],’’ Boone said. “With Gio and Stanton back and Aaron [Judge] next, there weren’t gonna be a lot of immediate at-bats for him.”
I feel bad for New York Jets fans
Dear Jets fans,
I know the past few months have sucked for you. (Yes, the better part of the past 50 years have stunk, I get it.)
But the past few months have really stunk.
Your team has played two games and been noncompetitive in both.
Now the Jets play at defensively stingy Indianapolis on Sunday in a game exactly zero people outside of the team’s Florham Park, N.J., training facility believe they have a chance to win.
It’s difficult to say where this malaise all began (some cynics would say when coach Adam Gase was hired in 2019, some might say when Leon Hess first bought the team and some believe the Joe Namath Super Bowl guarantee was part of a deal with the devil).
But the more recent set of headaches began when the player who thought he was the best player, safety Jamal Adams, petulantly whined his way out of town, forcing a trade to Seattle, where he already has 21 tackles and two interceptions this season.
Then linebacker C.J. Mosley — who you’ve gotten to watch play for about 10 minutes since he was signed and was inarguably the team’s best defensive player once Adams was gone — opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.
Then Denzel Mims, your second-round draft pick who was supposed to add punch to a punch-less receiving corps, didn’t even make it to the first full practice of training camp before hurting a hamstring, and he’s now on injured reserve. Who knows when he’ll be able to play, and when he does, how far behind he’ll be?
Jamison Crowder, a slot receiver by trade (but your No. 1 receiver because the position of need wasn’t properly addressed in the offseason), also is out with a hamstring injury.
Breshan Perriman, who was supposed to become the No. 1 receiver, lasted only a game before suffering an ankle injury in Week 2, and he’s probably out for the next two games.
Meanwhile, Robby Anderson, the receiver Jets management opted not to re-sign for modest money in the offseason, is flourishing with the Panthers, having caught 15 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown in his first two games. Think the Jets would pay him that $10 million he wanted now?
Running back Le’Veon Bell, who came into camp in all-world shape (he showed us so with a series of Instagram videos during the offseason) in an effort to erase the worst season of his career in 2019, is on injured reserve with (you guessed it) a hamstring injury.
Three seasons into his career as the third-overall pick in the 2018 draft, you still don’t know if Sam Darnold is a franchise quarterback.
Meanwhile, Darnold’s contemporary and close friend, Bills quarterback Josh Allen (who was drafted four spots after Darnold), has looked dynamic while completing 70.4 percent of his passes and throwing six touchdowns and no interceptions through two games this season.
Though your team has been eviscerated for not showing up in these past two games, your stadium co-tenants (who like the Jets are 0-2) are being universally praised for playing hard for their rookie head coach, Joe Judge, and for merely being competitive in their losses.
You blame Gase, and rightfully so, because he was brought here for his alleged ability to develop quarterbacks.
Then you had to listen to team owner Christopher Johnson, after the Week 1 walkover loss to the Bills, say he has “full confidence in Adam.’’
You detest your head coach so much that there’s an online “Fire Adam Gase’’ petition begging for signatures. There, too, was supposed to a “Fire Gase’’ rally outside the team facility the other day, though about five people showed up.
Your general manager, Joe Douglas, appears to be building this team for the future when Darnold’s time is now. The Jets’ continual rebuild resembles a hamster on a wheel — it never stops and there’s no destination.
You can’t even show up at the home games and boo, express your outrage, because COVID-19 restrictions prevent any fans at the stadium.
The TV ratings for the Jets game against the 49ers last week was overnight-infomercial low.
Apathy is setting in. And that’s rock-bottom. Apathy is more alarming and insulting than the noncompetitive play on the field.
I have no answers for you, not even a trite “hang-in-there-it’s-bound-to-get better’’ cliché.
This season will be 10 consecutive years without a playoff berth, and that’s unacceptable.
I have only sympathy.
But do try to hang in there, because after all, how much worse can it get?
Wait. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Never mind. Rich Kotite is on Line 2.
Willson Contreras’ epic bat toss leads to White Sox looking like flip-floppers
The White Sox looked like they were following an unwritten baseball rule Friday night: Bat flips are cool so long as we’re the team doing it. When it’s done to us, then that’s disrespectful.
No, that’s not a consistent ethic, especially as it concerns them, but baseball’s like that a lot of times.
The White Sox got themselves into that position when one of their relievers hit Cubs catcher Willson Contreras with a pitch four innings after Contreras launched his bat into orbit following a three-run homer. The flip became an internet hit, so high did the bat fly.
A 97 mph sinker from Jimmy Cordero grazed Contreras’ back in the seventh inning of a lopsided game. The ball was tracking directly toward Contreras’ midsection. Cordero was ejected and could be suspended by MLB. Manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper were also tossed.
Cordero and Renteria both denied intent after the game, although Renteria seemed to leave open the possibility Cordero didn’t just miss with his pitch.
“It was just a bad pitch, a bad pitch to him,” Cordero said, per MLB.com. “The ball sunk a lot, and that happened.”
“Jimmy’s a strong thinker and I didn’t need him to do what that . . . the ball got away from him,” Renteria said. “It wasn’t something that was expected.”
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And you’d like to believe both guys were telling it straight, because the Sox’s shortstop last night was Tim Anderson, an unapologetic bat-flinger. If it’s OK for Anderson, then it ought to be OK for Contreras.
Contreras said he expected it. He told reporters he was just trying to fire up his slumping team, but he “knew” he was going to get drilled later, “because I think they felt disrespected.”
Then he used Anderson as the example in accusing the Sox of inconsistency. He blamed the plunking on Renteria being stuck in the past.
“That’s something that, if you’re going to hit me, OK, that’s fine. Hit me,” Contreras said, per MLB.com. “But you have your guy that has done it before [Anderson], and nobody says anything, really. Like I said, I think their leader [Renteria] feels disrespect.
“He’s still living in the back-in-the day state, like in old-school baseball. We’re in 2020. Like Mike Trout said, let the kids play. We’re just having fun. That’s part of the game right now.”
A postscript: Contreras homered in his next at-bat against infielder Yolmer Sanchez. He did not have fun with that one. He dropped the bat and quickly ran around the bases. Maybe he didn’t feel like showing up a position player in a 10-0 game and angering the other dugout further. Seems as if there would be a rule for that, too.
Dalvin Cook’s breakdown of Devonta Freeman should soothe Giants
Life After Saquon Barkley officially begins now for the 2020 New York Football Giants.
Life After Saquon Barkley begins Sunday against the decimated 49ers with Daniel Jones promising he won’t try to carry the team, and the day.
It begins with Joe Judge asking for complementary football from his defense and special teams, because he has seen firsthand that it takes a village.
It begins with Judge asking every Giant to … Bill Belichick Spoiler Alert … do your job, and nothing more.
It begins with Jason Garrett coordinating his first game plan After Saquon Barkley.
And finally, it begins with no individual back trying to replace Saquon Barkley.
The Giants, starting here and now, resemble a majority of NFL teams that lack that transcendent bell-cow running back, and there is precedent for Running Back By Committee, because once upon a time, they boasted a feared three-headed monster they nicknamed Earth (Brandon Jacobs), Wind (Derrick Ward) and Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw). Those three — behind a tough, cohesive offensive line — were instrumental in helping Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin earn their Super Bowl championship following the 2007 season.
Once the force-feeding ends, Devonta Freeman will head the RBBC, and someone who knows him better than anyone guarantees that the Giants and their fans will love him, on the field and in the locker room.
“First they’re getting a leader in that locker room,” Vikings elite RB Dalvin Cook told The Post. “On the field, the more touches he gets, the better he gets, the stronger he gets. Just expect a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ from his teammates.”
Cook followed Freeman, who grew up in around the mean streets of a Liberty City housing project called Pork ’N Beans, at Miami Central High School, where Freeman won the 2010 state championship with a 38-carries, 308-yards rushing day. Cook then followed Freeman to Florida State.
“Devonta always ran with that determination, and he always had good feet and good hands,” Cook said. “I kind of tried to model my game behind his.”
They grew up 10-15 minutes from each other, and Freeman hosted Cook during his college visit.
“He was just always a guy that I could lean on, and he really showed me the blueprint of, ‘Go in, don’t worry about being drafted, just go work hard and worry about the results later,’ ” Cook said.
So, from 2014-16, Cook rushed for 4,464 yards with 46 TDs and caught 79 passes with two TDs. From 2011-13, Freeman had rushed for 2,255 yards with 30 TDs and caught 48 passes with one TD in his three seasons at the school.
Freeman played for the Liberty City Optimist Warriors program founded by Luther Campbell.
“He played for Uncle Luke,” Cook said. “I knew who was Devonta was.”
Cook and Freeman played for Miami Central coach Telly Lockette.
“Telly Lockette is the person that made him the running back he is today,” Cook said. “That’s our guy. That’s how I met him.”
Cook is in regular contact with Freeman and looks forward to following him from afar.
“It’s gonna be fun to have him in that locker room up there in New York, the guys are gonna love him,” Cook said. “I’m just happy for him. Just being an NFL player, I know being away from the game, it kind of messes you mentally a little bit. I know the person Devonta is, he wants to be on that field.”
How much he will be on the field in his Giants debut is a question. Freeman will be motivated to return to his former Pro Bowl form. He was a 1,000-yard rusher in 2015 and ’16. He caught 73 passes in ’15 and 54 in ’16. And 59 last season.
He is not Saquon Barkley. The Giants won’t ask him to be.
“He’s not gonna try to be Saquon, “ Cook said, “he’s gonna try to be the best version of Devonta he could be.”
RBBC first. Then Life With Devonta Freeman.
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