Yankees’ batting order preparing to undergo big changes

jake bauers, yankees
May 3, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Jake Bauers (61) watches his solo home run against the Cleveland Guardians during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have recently shown signs of improvement, with their lineup starting to hit more effectively and benefiting from some changes. The addition of Jake Bauers and the return of Bader have already made a positive impact, and once Aaron Judge is back, the lineup should be even stronger, potentially signaling the end of the road for some players. Despite their 17-15 record, the Yankees are holding their own in the highly competitive AL East, currently in last place but with plenty of baseball still to play.

Wednesday night’s game showcased unsung heroes like Willie Calhoun and Jake Bauers, while Jose Trevino’s walk-off brought elation to the remaining fans. A series victory provides the momentum needed for the team to perform well in the upcoming games.

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The Yankees need Bauers and Bader to step up:

Bauers and Bader are vital to the Yankees’ success, particularly in light of Judge’s absence due to a hip injury. Bader’s defensive prowess is crucial, and Bauers’ promotion from AAA has already proven valuable, as he made an immediate impact. If they continue to contribute, the Yankees will face intriguing roster decisions.

Upon Judge’s return, the lineup will undergo significant changes. It is possible that the Yankees may reduce Oswaldo Cabrera’s playing time or DFA either Hicks or IKF, especially after IKF’s outfield blunders — Boone’s obsession with IKF certainly suggests this isn’t probable.

When the lineup is fully healthy and Stanton returns, the team will undoubtedly be stronger. The future of players like Willie and Bauers is uncertain, but they are currently contributing well, with Willie boasting a 155 wRC+ in his last eight games and hitting home runs in consecutive games. Boone’s comment that “Willie can bang” seems to have ignited a spark in him.

The Yankees must continue winning games and series to keep pace in the fiercely competitive AL East. If they were in the AL Central, they would easily outperform the competition. Apart from their series loss to the Twins, the Yankees have been playing solid baseball. The lineup is set to improve, reducing reliance on depth and fringe players. However, maintaining the next-man-up mentality will always be crucial.