MOOSIC — When Brandon Drury was promoted to the New York Yankees on June 29, it looked like he would have a chance to be in the bigs to stay.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters after the move was made official that Drury had “a good chance” to be with the team past that weekend’s series against the Boston Red Sox, according to Yankees.com.
While that was the case at the time, seven games and 23 plate appearances later, Drury found himself back in Moosic once again and in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting lineup Friday night.
Change in scenery aside, the 25-year-old third baseman is going to keep grinding as he awaits his next chance in the bigs.
“I’m here to work and get better, so when I get another opportunity to be back I’m a better player,” Drury said.
Boone described Drury’s demotion as “one of those awful decision.”
With the Yankees playing a doubleheader this past Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, Drury was sent down after Game 1 to clear room for the nightcap’s starting pitcher, Luis Cessa. Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade provided enough position flexibility that the Yankees were afforded the option to send Drury back to Triple-A.
“It was a tough call between a few people that we probably had to consider and I think it was more about what gives us the most flexibility this week going forward roster wise,” Boone told NJ Advance Media. “We feel like Frazier covers us in the outfield and Wade gives us the flexibility, especially when we get back to a three-man bench when we bring Tanaka back off (the disabled list) tomorrow. And Wade’s a backup shortstop, too, so he gives us some protection there.”
Boone once again reiterated to Drury that he is a “big leaguer” and “doesn’t belong” in Triple-A. The Yankees just decided to go with a short bench, which has been what they’ve done much of the season as the team has sent down players like Drury, Tyler Austin, Ronald Torreyes, Frazier and Wade in favor of carrying extra relievers time and time again.
For example, now that Gleyber Torres is on the disabled list, Wade is the backup at second base, third base and shortstop so the Yankees can carry eight relievers and five outfielders.
“It’s unfortunately the situation right now, so all we can do is encourage him to make the absolute best out of the situation,” Boone said. “He’s done a good job of that all year of remaining focused, and hopefully he gets another opportunity with us.”
Despite making the International League All-Star team and taking over sole possession of the RailRiders’ single-season record for consecutive games on-base, Drury realizes there is still room for improvement. He was batting .132 with a double, two home runs and six RBI in his final 10 games with the RailRiders before he was promoted on June 29.
If anything, Drury would like to be more consistent at the plate. If he can do that, he’ll only better his odds to return to the Bronx.
“I feel fine. Definitely room for improvement. Just got to go out and do it.” Drury said. “Yeah, I’d like to just feel comfortable and just have consistent at-bats, not so up and down all of the time. Be consistent for the rest of the year, here and when I get back up. Just to finish this strong.”
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