Yankees’ Harrison Bader implementing new strategy to avoid injuries

harrison bader, yankees
uMay 29, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Renowned for his exceptional athleticism, New York Yankees‘ star defensive outfielder Harrison Bader brings a plethora of positive attributes to the field. However, his promising career has intermittently been hampered by injuries.

Bader’s Performance: A Snapshot

Despite the challenges, Bader’s presence on the baseball diamond is felt significantly as he provides a vital spark in the batting order and swift agility on the base paths.

During the current season, he has participated in merely 27 games due to injury, posting a .269 average with a .296 OBP, and boasting six home runs, 19 RBIs, seven stolen bases, and a 117 wRC+. A bout of plantar fasciitis saw him feature in just 86 games in 2022, only making a comeback just prior to the playoffs.

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Bader’s Efforts and Risks: Balancing Act

Bader, known for giving his all on the field, often risks injury due to his intense effort. As the 29-year-old approaches a contract year, he aims to leverage a strong season into a profitable contract extension. The key for Bader moving forward, as manager Aaron Boone suggests, lies in maintaining his health.

Aaron Boone elucidates, “Experience is your friend in that situation, understanding how to do that. [Bader’s] athleticism is his calling card. You don’t want to throttle him back too much. But there’s also an experience factor of learning how to do it and how to go through it in certain situations. That experience hopefully allows you to make smarter decisions within a game on particular plays that come up.”

Via NJ.com

The Challenge: Altering Bader’s Instinctive Play

Asking Harrison Bader to put in less than 100% effort is like asking water not to be wet. His instinctive, unforced style of play is crucial to the Yankees’ success.

“It’s about playing smart knowing that [not] doing things over the top when they’re not necessary I think will help me stay on the field for much longer,” Bader reflects.

Adopting a new strategy to maintain health will require Bader to make in-game decisions, possibly restraining himself from potential muscle strains or risky plays. Weighing the risk and reward of attempting a low-probability catch could mean the difference between staying in the game or spending weeks on the sidelines due to injury.

“I think a lot of it just comes from how hard I play the game and how I attack the game and that’s never gonna change,” Bader added. “I think situations like that need to stay in the back of my head.”

The Future: Longevity, Records, and Health

Finding the balance between exerting maximum effort and preserving his health is a daunting task for Bader. Yet, it may be the only way to prolong his career and secure a rewarding contract extension. Bader, who is currently on pace to set a home run record this year while demonstrating excellent defensive skills, has recently returned to the field after a hamstring injury. His main focus now is to stay healthy for the rest of the season.

Harrison Bader’s journey, marked by his unparalleled energy and careful approach toward health, will play a pivotal role in the New York Yankees’ success. As the season unfolds, his strategic decisions will likely determine his future in the sport.