Folks, the Yankees are struggling right now, and it’s mostly because of the offense. They could use some reinforcements, and one might be coming soon in the form of outfielder Harrison Bader.
Before dropping another game to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night (to lose their first season series against them since 2001), here’s where the Bombers’ pitching and offense ranked within baseball:
Yankees MLB ranks
ERA – 3.16 (2ND)
RUNS AGAINST – 78 (2ND)
OPS – .697 (18TH)
RUNS SCORED – 94 (22ND)
BATTING AVERAGE – .225 (27TH)
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 25, 2023
Yea, that ain’t gonna get the job done. This is not necessarily a time to hit the panic button, though. It’s still April, the Yankees are dealing with lots of injuries, and those who are healthy — like Aaron Judge — are currently slumping.
Every team experiences peaks and valleys during a 162-game regular season. The real contenders find a way to minimize the valleys while maximizing the peaks as much as possible.
For the Yankees, it’ll be key to start getting healthy as soon as possible. That should start with Bader, who is currently on his rehab assignment. It began with Double-A Somerset and has moved to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Here’s what Bader had to say about everything so far (quote via MLB.com):
I feel good. I’ve checked off all the boxes in the rehab process to get back on the field and play. I’m looking forward to just going out there and getting my game ready to go help the team in the Bronx win some baseball games.
Another box Bader will need to check off before getting activated from the injured list is playing in back-to-back nine-inning games, according to manager Aaron Boone.
As for a loose timeline on when the center fielder could rejoin the big-league club, we’re still about a week away (as long everything goes according to plan). At the moment, New York is targeting the May 5-7 series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field as the earliest for Harrison Bader to make his 2023 debut.
His coming back will give the outfield defense/alignment a boost since it’ll allow Judge to move back to right field. And if his offensive production is anything close to what he did last October, it’d also be a necessary boost for a struggling lineup.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.