Yankees scratch star slugger just moments before Saturday’s game

Syndication: Arizona Republic, juan soto, yankees, Mets
Credit: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Just moments before the New York Yankees faced off against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon, the team announced a significant lineup change. Star slugger Juan Soto was scratched from the lineup, sparking immediate concern among fans.

The Yankees Can’t Afford to Lose Soto

The worry was justified as it was revealed that Soto suffered a right-hand bruise during a slide into home plate in Friday’s win—a game in which he notably hit a three-run home run following the incident. Given the circumstances, the Yankees are exercising caution with the 25-year-old superstar to avoid risking further injury.

Jun 25, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) follows through on a solo home run against the New York Mets during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Soto’s Impact and Season Performance

This season, Soto has been a powerhouse at the plate, boasting a batting average of .302 with an on-base percentage of .434 and a slugging percentage of .570. He has hit 20 home runs and driven in 60 RBIs, maintaining a 16.4% strikeout rate alongside an 18.9% walk rate. His performance has been pivotal, making him one of the best offensive players in the league and a key component of the Yankees’ above-average offense despite their recent struggles.

Adjustments to the Lineup

In Soto’s absence, the Yankees adjusted their lineup by moving Ben Rice to the number two spot, where he managed a single to center field in the first inning on Saturday. Oswald Cabrera was positioned in right field to try to fill the gap left by Soto’s absence, although the offensive impact of losing a player of Soto’s caliber is significant.

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