MOOSIC — Tyler Austin has been in this situation before.
This wasn’t the first time he was sent back to Triple-A. In fact, it was the fifth time it’s happened.
Now back with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the 26-year-old first baseman vows to keep grinding and working toward re-joining the New York Yankees. And so far, it’s worked.
Austin is batting .375 with a double, home run and two RBI in two games back in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup.
“Continue to get better every day. That’s the big thing,” Austin said. “Coming here, enjoy my time and try to get better.”
On the heels of his latest demotion, Austin is doing his best to not let the disappointment of re-joining the RailRiders get the best of him, especially considering his hot start to the season.
Austin still ranks fifth among rookies in home runs, with eight. Two of the people ahead of him? His teammates, Gleyber Torres (14) and Miguel Andujar (nine). His 23 RBI rank eighth, too.
“I just have to do it. It is what it is. This is where I’m going to be,” Austin said. “I don’t know how long I’m going to be here. I don’t know anything. I’m going to continue to work and try to get better every day.”
RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell added that while there’s obviously some disappointment for Austin, his character has been able to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Mitchell even went as far as to describe Austin as a leader on this team, despite just being with the RailRiders for a few days.
“Tyler’s Tyler, man. He comes down and he’s ready to play and we wants to play and he wants to contribute,” Mitchell said. “His character stands alone. He’s a leader on the team. He’s just a battler. He comes down with a good attitude and he really just needs to get back into the swing of things and playing more often.”
But Austin’s not alone in his new stint with the RailRiders.
He now joins Ronald Torreyes, Brandon Drury, Tyler Wade, Tommy Kahnle and Billy McKinney. Each one is still on the 40-man roster and saw starts with New York this year. And like Austin, Drury was in the Yankees’ starting lineup on Opening Day and Wade got into the game.
“Obviously all of us want to be in the big leagues. That’s the main goal for everyone here,” Austin said. “Each one of us has to continue to work hard and get better every single day — not get happy with where we’re at.”
But with the addition of Austin, there was a major ripple effect to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster.
First baseman Ryan McBroom was optioned to Double-A Trenton on Monday to continue to get everyday reps at first base. The move comes despite McBroom hitting .395 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 14 RBI over his latest 10-game stretch with the RailRiders.
The 27-year-old, who was often batting cleanup, leaves the RailRiders second in home runs and the leader in RBI.
“I had a day off yesterday and when I got the news, it kind of put a damper on the whole day, you know?,” Mitchell said when asked what it was like to break the news to McBroom. “I don’t like to tell anybody they’re going down, but when a guy’s contributing like he was, which was (impressive), and enjoying himself and improving a lot, it’s always hard to send him down a level. I’m just hoping he gets back up here as soon as possible.”