Another day. Another Yankees injury. Another big league opportunity for a RailRider.

With Aaron Judge going down Saturday with an oblique injury, the Yankees announced that they’re expecting to call up IF Thairo Estrada on Sunday to take his spot. Estrada doesn’t play the outfield, so that would make Tyler Wade the fourth outfielder and Estrada would serve as the backup infielder. Worth noting the way the Yankees worded the announcement: they’re “expecting” him to take his place. Guess here is general manager Brian Cashman could be trying to find someone else on the trade front, but who knows?

Estrada already earned his first big league promoted earlier this season — the call came right after the RailRiders arrived in Buffalo before the season opener — when Troy Tulowitzki landed on the injured list. Estrada was the only other option on the 40-man, so it was more of an emergency promotion than a true call up. He never got in a game.

This time feels like a mix of both. Estrada’s the last available non-pitcher on the 40-man, so in one sense, he’s the only guy left. Not playing the outfield also makes him an imperfect replacement for the roster spot.

On the other hand, Estrada is really playing well. What we saw in Triple-A last year wasn’t him. He went just 5 for 33 with one extra-base hit, a year after raking at Double-A (.301/.353/.392 with only 56 strikeouts in 122 games). It was clear the offseason incident, when he was the victim of an attempted robbery and was shot in the leg, took too much of a toll on Estrada physically.

This year has been quite different.

Estrada is back to his line-drive-hitting self. He puts the ball in play a lot and every once in a while, he’ll turn up the power and blast a home run. He’s also flashed some speed — a good sign after the offseason injury — and is plenty talented in the field. Overall, he’s slashing .273/.319/.455, but he’s looked even better of late. He started 0 for 9. Since then, he’s batting .343 over his last eight games, with a six-game hitting streak. He also has two double and two home runs, and he came pretty close to a third.

Here are some highlights:

As for what Cashman could be looking for in a trade, here’s how the outfield depth looks at the moment:

Matt Lipka could’ve been an option — he was 5 for 14 with a home run and two stolen bases in four games — but he’s on the injured list with a hamstring injury. He resumed baseball activities during the RailRiders’ last homestand, including bunting and running out of the batter’s box. Omar Carrizales is the only other outfielder on the RailRiders’ roster. He’s played just one Triple-A game (sort of two, but Saturday’s game against Buffalo was suspended in the third inning).


The RailRiders’ Thairo Estrada eyes a ground ball during a game against Buffalo on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer