Yankees’ Jake Bauers dodges major injury bullet

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

There is no doubt that the New York Yankees urgently require support in the outfield, which prompted them to demote Franchy Cordero to Triple-A and promote intriguing Jake Bauers, who was performing exceptionally well for the Scranton minor-league affiliate team.

Bauers has accumulated 328 MLB games worth of experience but has struggled to establish himself, recording a .213 BA, .307 OBP, and 27 career home runs. At 27 years old, he is still young enough to be regarded as a prospect, so the development and improvement of his swing have been priorities over the past two seasons.

Nevertheless, Bauers earned a spot on the Yankees’ roster by achieving a .304 average with a .448 OBP, .797 SLG, and 1.245 OPS. He hit nine home runs with 20 RBIs and stole five bases across 21 games in Scranton at the start of the 2023 season.

Bauers made his first appearance with the Bombers on Saturday but was forced to leave after just one defensive play. He made an impressive catch in left field but collided with the wall, resulting in a right knee contusion.

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The Yankees and Jake Bauers narrowly avoided a major issue:

Regrettably, the Yankees had to remove Bauers from the game, but an MRI cleared him of any significant damage. He has some swelling that must subside before he can return to play. It would not be surprising if the Yankees reintegrated him into the lineup early this upcoming week, given their urgent need for his skills and the fact that they cannot afford another game with Aaron Hicks, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Franchy Cordero covering the outfield.

Hicks has a paltry .159 batting average this season with a .229 OBP and .159 SLG. IKF is hitting .200 with a .245 OBP, although the duo managed to combine for four hits on Sunday during their 15-2 loss to the Rangers.

Regrettably, the Yankees are depending on minor-league-level talent to fill critical positions, which is a recipe for disaster. General manager Brian Cashman must be dismayed by the number of injuries his team has sustained, as these setbacks are exposing the roster’s lack of depth.