Yankees lose red-hot outfielder to injury

harrison bader, yankees
May 29, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) runs towards first base after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees, despite their ongoing struggle with injuries, managed to score 20 runs in their previous two games, largely due to an impressive performance from a thriving Aaron Judge.

Notwithstanding Judge’s exceptional dominance, the Yankees completed the series-opening victory with one fewer outfielder; Harrison Bader was experiencing tightness in his right hamstring.

Having already recovered from a lat injury, Bader is now facing another potential setback, which is particularly regrettable given that hamstring injuries can be quite challenging.

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The Yankees were getting red-hot contributions from Harrison Bader:

In the 10-4 victory over the Mariners, Bader had already secured two hits before his withdrawal, including a hard-earned infield single. His current season statistics include a .267 batting average, a .295 on-base percentage (OBP), six home runs, 19 runs batted in (RBIs), and an on-base plus slugging (OPS) percentage of .806.

On Tuesday, Bader will be evaluated through an MRI, which should provide additional information regarding the severity of his injury and the potential for a lengthy absence.

Following the victory, Manager Aaron Boone conveyed that the medical team did not perceive the injury to be excessively serious, thus suggesting the likelihood of precautionary measures. A brief 10-day spell on the injured list (IL) may suffice to restore his playing condition.

In the fan community, considerable discussion has taken place regarding a potential contract extension for Bader. He arguably delivers the finest defense in baseball in his role and has shown significant enhancement in his slugging statistics.

The 28-year-old outfielder is in the final year of his contract, so maintaining his health is crucial for elevating his market value. However, if he exhibits continued inconsistencies, the Yankees might have the opportunity to retain him at a bargain.

With Bader predicted to be absent for a few days at least, Judge is expected to cover the center field (CF), while either Greg Allen or Jake Bauers will likely have increased opportunities in the corner outfield positions.