The New York Yankees promoted Triple-A standout Jake Bauers to bolster their outfield on Saturday. However, he was forced to leave the game early after an exceptional catch sent him crashing into the left-field wall. Although Bauers sustained a contusion on his right knee that forced him out of the game, he appears to be doing well.
Before joining the Yankees, Bauers excelled with Scranton, posting a .304 batting average, .448 OBP, .797 slugging percentage, and 1.245 OPS over 21 games. He had already hit nine home runs and recorded 20 RBIs, demonstrating an improved swing and a low strikeout rate.
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The Yankees already lost their OF support:
Bauers is expected to be sidelined for at least a few days due to the bruising on his knee, but the situation could have been much worse. The hope is that he can make a speedy recovery and provide much-needed support to the struggling outfield.
“It’s tough to deal with,” Bauers admitted. “But at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. We might not always know what that reason is. I’ll just try to keep my head up and see where we’re at [Sunday].”
Manager Aaron Boone empathized with Bauers, whose MLB season debut featured a remarkable catch, displaying the effort that the Yankees have sorely missed in recent weeks.
“Great play to start off your season up here, and then to have to come out, you feel for him,” Boone said. “Hopefully, it’s not something too serious.”
In Bauers’ absence, the Yankees utilized Aaron Hicks in left field, despite his underwhelming start to the 2023 season. Hicks has managed only one RBI in 44 plate appearances, hitting .125 with a .205 OBP and a -3 wRC+. His -0.6 WAR ranks among the worst on the team and has hindered the World Series aspirations of the Yankees.
For the time being, the Yankees will persist with their subpar outfielders, possibly even contemplating a call-up for Elijah Dunham, who has also had an impressive start to the season with Scranton.