Yankees lose star outfielder for a ‘few weeks’ to hamstring injury

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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

Despite grappling with a spate of injuries and inconsistencies, the offense of the New York Yankees is truly dominating.

Over their last three games, they have notched up 30 runs, including a ten-run haul in each game, thus highlighting their impressive scoring prowess.

After securing four consecutive victories and trailing the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East by just five games, the Yankees are striving to maintain their momentum and ascend the division rankings.

However, this week brought a substantial setback, as they lost their star defensive outfielder, Harrison Bader, to a hamstring injury.

The Yankees are now faced with the task of filling the void left by Harrison Bader:

After Monday’s games, an MRI was conducted on Bader to ascertain the extent of his injury. The scan revealed a strain, which according to manager Aaron Boone, could sideline him for “several weeks.”

Before his injury, Bader had been performing remarkably, boasting a batting average of .267 and a .295 on-base percentage, in addition to six home runs and 19 runs batted in. While his on-base percentage may not be particularly noteworthy, he currently has the highest batting average and wRC+ of his career at 118.

In addition to these impressive offensive statistics, he’s also boasting a career-low strikeout rate of 13.7%, highlighting some of the best power metrics of his career. He also has the second-best barrel rate of his career at 9%, combined with the best launch angle at 20.2°.

The discussion of Bader’s prowess wouldn’t be complete without mentioning his defensive excellence. He’s on track to achieve career highs in defensive runs saved and outs above average statistics, suggesting he could be the best centerfielder in the game. And this was already a consideration even before he started putting up elite numbers this season.

In Bader’s absence over the coming weeks, the Yankees are likely to periodically move Aaron Judge to centerfield. However, their recent acquisition, Greg Allen, was given the starting centerfielder role in Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners. Allen hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and earned a walk in his four at-bats.

Given the recent stellar performances of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, it appears he has solidified his position in left field for the foreseeable future, as evidenced by his significant statistical improvement over the past two weeks.