Despite losing the series to the Baltimore Orioles and the opening game against the San Diego Padres, the New York Yankees experienced an impressive streak before suffering three consecutive losses.
They managed to climb to third place in the AL East, a position they maintain with a 31-23 record following Saturday’s victory.
Their inconsistent performance can be attributed in part to a lack of depth in certain positions, particularly the outfield.
Three of their starting outfielders, Aaron Judge, Harrison Bader, and Giancarlo Stanton, have spent time on the injured list at various points this season. Stanton has yet to make his return.
Nonetheless, Stanton is scheduled to commence a rehab assignment on Tuesday.
Consequently, the Yankees are assessing their options, as they will soon need to free up a roster spot to accommodate their returning slugger.
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Imminent decisions for the Yankees
While it’s expected to take Stanton a few games to regain form, the decision-making time for the Yankees is not immediate. But that moment is fast approaching, and Jake Bauers and Willie Calhoun appear to be the two prime candidates to be removed from the roster.
Calhoun began the spring season on a high note, but his performance dipped in late March and has not significantly improved in the regular season. While there was a brief period a couple of weeks ago when it seemed like he was rallying, he hasn’t fully regained his stride.
In his 29 games and 99 plate appearances, Calhoun has a slash line of .230/.313/.368 with an 89 wRC+ for the Yankees.
On the other hand, Bauers has been tweaking his mechanics since joining the Yankees last season. He had an exceptional start in 2023 once he was called up, but that now appears to be in the past. He currently has a disappointing slash line of .174/.278/.326 and a mere 70 wRC+ in 54 plate appearances.
When Stanton is fit to return, either Bauers or Calhoun is likely to be designated for assignment. One could even suggest that an unspoken competition has already begun.