Yankees receive better than anticipated injury update on Harrison Bader

harrison bader, yankees
Feb 23, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) fields a ball during spring training practice at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were unable to escape spring training without sustaining a number of injuries. The starting rotation suffered the more significant blows, notably Carlos Rodon and Frankie Montas. Rodon is expected to miss up to the first month of the regular season, and Montas will only return in August, if lucky, but the Bombers also lost starting center-fielder Harrison Bader, who is considered injury prone at this point in his career.

Last season, Bader played in just 86 games due to a plantar fasciitis injury. He’s played over 105 games just twice in his career, so the Bombers must have supplementary options in place since he will miss time in 2023.

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About a week ago, the Yanks announced that Bader was dealing with an oblique strain that would likely knock him out of the Opening Day starting lineup.

However, things are progressing well, and he could make an expedited return.

Boone said Harrison Bader is “doing better than we anticipated,” indicating he could return shortly after Opening Day in under two weeks.

The Yankees would’ve liked Harrison Bader to escape spring unscathed:

The 28-year-old enjoyed just 12 spring training at-bats, hitting .250 with a .286 OBP, three hits, and two RBIs. However, he displayed elite athleticism in the outfield, a variable the Yanks are excited about.

Last season, the veteran had one of his worst campaigns, hitting .250 with a .294 OBP, five homers, and 30 RBIs across 313 plate appearances. However, he was electric in the postseason for the Yankees, hitting .333 with a .429 OBP, five homers, and six RBIs across nine games.

The Yankees are hoping they can get playoff Bader for the regular season, but that is an optimistic expectation. In all likelihood, he will likely hover around his career averages, but his rangy defensive qualities and ability to steal bases should prove to be a huge asset.