Yankees cut 2 lefty hitters and re-assign them to minor league camp

jake bauers, yankees
Feb 24, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Jake Bauers (60) catches a ball during spring training practice at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With 10 days left until Opening Day and nine spring training games remaining, the New York Yankees are slowly cutting down the roster to finally land at 26. They still have a long way to go, but they trimmed things down after Sunday afternoon’s contests against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees reassigned Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney to minor league camp, two left-handed batters who had a few solid moments the past few weeks.

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The Yankees will stash them in the minors:

Bauers, 27, hadn’t played since 2021, when he featured in 115 games for the Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners. He hit a combined .209 with a .290 OBP and recorded a 63 wRC+. Bauers has 328 major league games under his belt but has struggled as an offensive piece, despite having a solid spring at 27 years old.

Across 23 at-bats, he posted nine hits, two RBIs, and three stolen bases with a .391 average, .423 OBP, and .858 OPS. Having played first base and both left and right field throughout his MLB career, he has some value as a utility piece, but the Yankees have plenty of those.

Conversely, McKinney spent the 2022 season with the Oakland Athletics, playing in 23 games, hitting .096 with a .158 OBP. He isn’t known for his offensive contributions, despite hitting 12 homers back in 2019 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

This spring, he’s hitting .179 with a .281 OBP across 28 at-bats, posting five hits and an RBI. The lefty also has utility value, having played some first base in his career but mostly left and right field. With Oswaldo Cabrera serving as the team’s primary utility piece and Rafael Ortega having a few solid performances, it seems as if he might be on the fast track to earning a 26-man roster spot.

I wouldn’t rule out Willie Calhoun as an alternative, considering he’s been lighting up spring training with the bat in his hands.