Harrison Bader
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The New York Yankees are lacking outfield depth presently. The team’s regular right fielder, Aaron Judge, landed on IL earlier this month and has no return timeline in place. On top of that, Giancarlo Stanton, who returned from a hamstring injury a few weeks ago, is playing as DH. The team does not want to rush him into the outfield to keep him less prone to any further injuries.

Apart from this powerful duo, the Yankee’s most trusted and go-to center fielder, Harrison Bader, has been missing for several weeks. After returning from an oblique injury, he sustained a hamstring injury while running on base paths. Bader has been on IL for close to three weeks now and has recently taken the ultimate step toward a probable return.


Harrison Bader Played With Somerset On Wednesday, Eyeing Friday Return

Harrison Bader
New York Yankees’ Harrison Bader advances to third base on a throwing error by Seattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh after stealing second base during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, May 29, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Injuries have majorly troubled the New York Yankees this season. They lost multiple players in their prime forms, including center fielder Harrison Bader. Bader has just returned in May after successfully defeating an oblique injury. He exploded offensively by scoring .267, six home runs, and 19 RBIs. However, the resurgence was cut short by another unfortunate injury. The outfielder strained his hamstring and landed on a 10-day IL. However, Bader did not feel he was ready to take the field again and hence missed the initial timeline.

Meanwhile, the Yankees, after consulting with the training and conditioning staff, decided to assign Harrison Bader a rehab assignment. He played a game on Wednesday with Double-A Somerset Patriots. The outfielder fielded for seven innings in the outfielder and went 0-for-4 at the plate. As of now, it is still unknown if Bader needs to play an additional game on Thursday. But as per multiple reports, the Yankees might reinstate him on Friday to play against the Boston Red Sox, provided he didn’t face any setback in his rehab assignment. Again, nothing’s official for now. The team is likely to announce its final decision just hours before the game commences.

With Bader’s Return, Yankees Outfield To Get Big Boost

Harrison Bader
New York Yankees’ Harrison Bader, center, leaves a baseball game with an apparent injury while accompanied by a trainer, left, and manager Aaron Boone, right, during the third inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, May 29, 2023, in Seattle. Lindsey Wasson – staff, AP

The Yankees’ outfield depth has dropped to almost negligible. Their prolonged left field problem is unlikely to die down anytime soon. Moreover, with Aaron Judge‘s toe injury, they lost their best right fielder as well. Not only that, there is a big hole in center field as well since Harrison Bader remains on IL. Regardless, all signs indicate that Bader might return this weekend against the Boston Red Sox.

Hence, the Yankees can breathe a sigh of relief. Their center field is secured with Bader. In the meantime, utility players Oswaldo Cabrera and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are doing outfield duties and have been decent so far. Billy McKinney and Jake Bauers are also playing on a rotational basis, but none have been able to book a fixed outfield spot. Regardless, things will remain like this until Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton resume their outfield duties.