Tyler Wade was batting a season-low .191 on July 29, which was also the last day Gio Urshela started a game.
The Yankees lost Urshela to the injured list five days later and Gleyber Torres, too, less than a week after that.
But the team has withstood the loss of the left side of its starting infield in part thanks to Wade, who has four more hits in his last 18 games (17) than he did in his first 61 (13) as he takes advantage of more consistent at-bats.
“I just think more opportunity,” Wade said before going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in Saturday’s win over the Twins. “Obviously seeing stuff fall, confidence. But yeah, I would just say being in the lineup more often and being in the flow of the game.”
Before Sunday’s rainout, Wade was batting 17-for-40 (.425) with four doubles and nine runs scored in 18 games since July 30 — after recording just two extra-base hits all season before then.
Getting on base more has also helped Wade become more of a weapon on the basepaths, part of a team-wide increase in using its speed. He was six-for-seven in stolen bases over the last 18 games (after swiping six bags in his first 61 games) as the Yankees’ 31 steals from the All-Star break through Friday were the most in the majors in that span.
“I love it,” Wade said. “It’s a different part of the game that we’re used to playing, but anytime I can do that — or whether it’s [Brett Gardner] or Andrew [Velazquez], even [Aaron Judge] now stealing some bases. So yeah, it’s been fun, that’s for sure.”
Velazquez, the Bronx native, has also played a big hand in filling in for Torres at shortstop with his slick glove and timely hitting.
Wade has bounced around more, starting games at shortstop, third base and left field while also moving to center as needed.
Urshela (strained hamstring) began a rehab assignment Sunday with Double-A Somerset.
With Sunday’s scheduled game against the Twins now set to be made up on Sept. 13, the Yankees will play 20 games in 20 days from Sept. 3-22. … Jordan Montgomery and Andrew Heaney are scheduled to start Monday and Tuesday, respectively, against the Braves.
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