The Tampa Yankees were an offensive powerhouse in the first half of the 2016 season. They were lead by Miguel Andujar, Billy Fleming, Jorge Mateo, Zack Zehner, and many others. However, there’s one name that hasn’t been on the radar as an injury has had him sidelined since mid-April. Mike Ford was placed on the Disabled List on April 18th after jamming his wrist sliding back into second base after a pick-off attempt. The injury has kept Ford out for a majority of the season, and has made him miss the extremely successful playoff-clinching first-half by the Yankees.
The second half has been a completely different story for the Tampa team though. They stand fourth in the division holding an 11-11 record, and it almost seems they’re lucky to be there. The offense has died down by substantial amounts, and though it was expected with recent promotions, it’s left the work load open for anyone’s taking. With Jorge Mateo serving his two-week suspension as well, some players such as Zehner, Abiatal Avelino, and Thairo Estrada have kept the team afloat. However, a boost is still needed, and if Mike Ford comes back with the same bat he had when he left, it could very well help the Yankees stay near the top of the FSL North for the second half of the season.
At the time of Ford’s injury he was leading the FSL in batting average, and leading all of the MiLB in RBIs. As of right now he still holds his .371 average and 14 RBIs. The New Jersey native will begin his rehab assignment tonight in Staten Island after being out for nearly four months. Connor Spencer has been at first base for Tampa. When Ford returns they will most likely share time at the corner should Spencer continue to hit like he did through the weekend.