The New York Yankees are still waiting patiently for the return of trade acquisition Harrison Bader, who’s enjoyed the past few days with Double-A Somerset during a rehab assignment.
Bader made an impact on Wednesday, hitting a home run, finally showcasing some of the power the Yankees invested in by trading Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Montgomery has been fantastic for St. Louis, hosting a 2.05 ERA over 48.1 innings of action. It is clear that the former Yankee took the departure poorly, making several statements to indicate that his former team didn’t utilize him correctly, specifically regarding his fastball usage.
The reason the Yankees made this trade, to begin with, was the improve their defensive efficiency in centerfield. They clearly don’t feel comfortable relying on Aaron Hicks anymore, who is still in the middle of a seven-year, $70 million contract.
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The Yankees aren’t getting the value they need from Harrison Bader, yet:
However, fans are still upset about Monty being dealt, believing that the trade heavily favored St. Louis, which doesn’t sit right with Bader.
“Is that what they’re saying?” Bader said Thursday regarding fans believing the Cardinals got the best of the trade. “I haven’t seen that. Stuff like that is not going to help my rehab go any faster. And in a time when you’re trying to get back, as much as it is physical, there is an element to the subconscious. It’s a career. It’s important. I’m not taking my time, not going slowly by any means. We’re going to do it right.”Via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic
The 28-year-old outfielder is 100% focused on what the team is saying and not what the fans have dictated thus far. He has yet to make an impact, but if he joins the Yankees and provides a spark offensively and delivers elite-level defense, the tides will turn change.
“I pay attention to one clubhouse. It’s the clubhouse I’m in,” Bader said. “And that’s the New York Yankees’.”
Bader has missed the past few months with plantar fasciitis, sporting a walking boot at one point before ramping up. The hope is that he will return next Tuesday during the team’s homestead, but he still has a few hurdles to overcome before that expected date arrives.
“The (Yankees) trainers did an incredible job keeping my mind going, allowing me to get some frustration out talking about it. We did a really good job every single day, staying focused, staying super disciplined,” Bader said.
Over 72 games this season, Bader is hitting .256 with a 30.3% on-base rate. He’s recorded five homers with 21 RBIs, featuring a 17.8% strikeout rate and 4.9% walk rate, the lowest number in his career.
However, he did smack 16 homers last season, showcasing far more value as a slugger. Nonetheless, he’s stolen 15 bases this year, tying his career high from 2018 over a 138 game sample size.
Harrison is hoping to provide that same value for the Yankees on the base paths, noting he will have a few weeks of regular season play before the postseason rolls around.
“You fast forward to now, I’ve got a serious stretch ahead of me where we could do some real damage, on a team that is contending for a World Series. Which is awesome. For some time there, I thought my season might be lost. The pain was pretty intense. To be in this position is just great. I’m just grateful. I really am.”