Home News Yankees get Harrison Bader back in much-needed lineup boost

Yankees get Harrison Bader back in much-needed lineup boost

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Harrison Bader was activated off the 10-day IL prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners in The Bronx.

Bader figures to provide a much-needed boost to an offense that has looked lost without Aaron Judge, still out indefinitely with a sprained toe.

But for Bader’s return to really provide anything of meaning to the Yankees, he has to be able to stay on the field, something the center fielder hasn’t been able to do with consistency since last year, when he arrived in a trade from the Cardinals in August, already on the IL with plantar fasciitis.

Bader didn’t return until late September, but immediately made an impact — one that lasted throughout the Yankees’ playoff run.

This season has been more of the same, though, as Bader first missed time with a left oblique strain.

He then went down with the hamstring strain that kept him out for nearly a month.


The Yankees activated Harrison Bader off the injured list on Tuesday.
AP

Entering Tuesday, Bader has played in just 26 games this season after appearing in only 72 a year ago between St. Louis and The Bronx.

And in 2021, limited by a strained right forearm suffered during spring training and a fractured rib in April, Bader played in 103 games.

When he’s been on the field for the Yankees, Bader has exceeded expectations, especially at the plate.

Considered one of the top defensive center fielders in the game, Bader has been superb with the Yankees, but he was also productive at the plate in last year’s postseason and again early this year.


Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader leaves a game against the Mariners with an injury on May 29, 2023.
Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader leaves a game against the Mariners with an injury on May 29, 2023.
AP

He’s due to be a free agent for the first time after the season and a long-term investment in the 29-year-old would be intriguing for the Yankees, but they have to determine whether Bader can stay healthy — especially as they’ve seen other outfielders on their roster in recent years, like Giancarlo Stanton and the recently released Aaron Hicks, break down physically in their 30s.

Lately, the rest of the lineup has not been able to make up for the absence of Judge, as well as Bader.

In a dozen games since Judge injured his toe in Los Angeles, the Yankees are 4-8 and have scored just 39 runs.

Stanton, just back from the IL, as well, Anthony Rizzo and DJ LeMahieu have struggled.

Rizzo heads into Tuesday just 4-for-48 with a double in 13 games since he hurt his neck on May 28.


The Yankees lineup has struggled mightily since Aaron Judge got injured.
The Yankees lineup has struggled mightily since Aaron Judge got injured.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Lemahieu’s slump dates back to May 11. Since then, he’s 19-for-105, with six extra-base hits, six walks, 30 strikeouts and a .511 OPS in 28 games.

And while Stanton homered in his first game back from a hamstring injury, he’s 4-for-38 with one homer and 15 strikeouts in his last 11 games.

Josh Donaldson hit four homers in his first five starts since coming off the IL, entered Tuesday 2-for-18 with a homer in his previous six games.

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