Yankees: Tyler Austin Out 6 Weeks, Fantasy Impact

The Yankees will be without first baseman Tyler Austin for Spring Training after fracturing his foot. What does this mean for his 2017 outlook?

The New York Yankees infield got less deep on Friday. Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that first baseman Tyler Austin fractured his foot when he fouled a ball off his foot in batting practice on Thursday. As a result, he will be in a walking boot for three weeks and shut down for three more.

This eases some of the concern around first base. Fans, experts, and fantasy owners alike were going back and forth, questioning who will man the position for the Yankees, Greg Bird or Austin. Things got worse when the Yankees signed power hitter Chris Carter.

Austin does have experience in the minor leagues playing in right field. Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are set to compete for the starting job there. If he doesn’t find a spot there, Austin making the Opening Day roster is very unlikely.

Bird looks like he will be the starting first baseman with Carter spelling him for a day or two. Matt Holliday is the everyday first baseman.

Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and the platoon of Hicks and Judge will man the outfield. Things look a little bleak for Austin when he is healthy.

In his 31 MLB games, Austin hit .241 with five home runs, 12 RBI, and a 36-7 K-BB ratio. Before the call-up, he hit .294 with 17 homers, 78 RBI, and a 105-62 K-BB ratio between Double and Triple-A. The increased strikeout rate in the majors suggests that his plate discipline needs to improve.

Before the call-up, he hit .294 with 17 homers, 78 RBI, and a 105-62 K-BB ratio between Double and Triple-A. The increased strikeout rate in the majors suggests that his plate discipline needs to improve.

The injury increases the fantasy value of Bird and Carter. Six weeks from today is March 31. Opening Day is Sunday, April 2. Austin will not be on the roster then, if at all. He will need to go through extending Spring Training or the minors before even having a chance to play in the majors in 2017.

I didn’t have Austin, Bird, or Carter ranked in my top-300. I think Bird sneaks into my top-25 first baseman now that he’s expected to be 100 percent and the starting first baseman. Austin will have value in dynasty, but it may not be until 2018.