Yankees lose freshly acquired outfielder to injury

greg allen, yankees
May 21, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees pinch runner Greg Allen (30) scores on a double by shortstop Anthony Volpe (not pictured) in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees suffered more than just a defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

The Yankees lose another outfielder in Greg Allen:

The recently acquired outfielder from the Boston Red Sox, Greg Allen, sustained a hip flexor injury that prematurely ended his participation in the game.

In light of Harrison Bader’s hamstring injury, which has resulted in a stint on the injured list for at least a few weeks, Allen has been designated as the team’s main center fielder.

Regrettably, he does not match Bader’s offensive production, achieving a .214 average and .313 on-base percentage over a limited number of at-bats.

Allen is a robust defender possessing exceptional speed and range, providing significant value on the base paths as a runner. However, his status as a perennial backup and the Yankees’ minimal cost to secure his services from Boston underscore his limitations.

Before Friday’s game, he had appeared in 291 career Major League Baseball games, posting a .232 batting average with a .299 on-base percentage. Yet, he has been a significant contributor of runs for the Yankees this season.

In extra-inning situations, Allen has been the Yankees’ primary runner, accumulating five runs in just 10 games.

Defensively, Allen logged 293.1 innings in the outfield for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022, boasting a flawless fielding percentage along with two defensive runs saved and two outs above average. This season with the Yankees, he has recorded -3 defensive runs saved across 43 innings, suggesting a deficiency in defensive effectiveness.

Despite these statistics, it’s crucial to note that Allen’s speed serves a specific function, and he is not considered a regular starter. Given his injury-induced exit and probable assignment to the injured list, the Yankees are expected to rely on Jake Bauers to offset the loss.

The likely reshuffle will involve Isiah Kiner-Falefa moving to center field and Jake Bauers transitioning back to left field. It appears that the Yankees are reluctant to continue repositioning Aaron Judge, preferring to keep him in his customary right-field position to preserve his health.

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