Yankees catch more bad injury luck right before big names return

Right when the New York Yankees receive good news about important players returning soon, they are dealt another devastating blow. Center fielder Harrison Bader is back on the Injured List after playing in just 26 games this season.

The New York Yankees have hit another setback during their 2023 campaign. The team anticipates some big names returning from the IL, potentially for the weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The return of reliever Tommy Kahnle, third baseman Josh Donaldson, and outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton is a huge deal, but the Yankees will have to absorb the loss of another important player, center fielder Harrison Bader.

After missing the first month of the season with an oblique strain, Harrison Bader returned in early May and continued the positive impact on the club that he started last season. Bader puts on a defensive clinic in center field. On the offensive side, he’s hitting .267 with an .806 OPS, 19 RBI, and 6 stolen bases in the month of May.

Bader played in just 26 games before he left Monday night’s game with a hamstring injury following an infield single. Bader underwent an MRI, and the Yankees announced on Tuesday that he would head to the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain.

Yankees lose Harrison Bader right as other big names get set to return

Kahnle, Donaldson, and Stanton are all rehabbing in Double-A with the Somerset Patriots. Donaldson has been out with a hamstring strain since early April, while Stanton has been out with a hamstring strain since mid-April.  Kahnle has yet to pitch in the 2023 regular season, on the IL with bicep tendinitis. On Tuesday, the Yankees got catcher Jose Trevino, who also had a hamstring injury, back from the IL.

The upcoming return of Giancarlo Stanton becomes more important with the loss of Harrison Bader. The team has sorely missed his big bat in the lineup, and having him back will help absorb the loss of Bader’s bat. If they can get him back in the outfield and not just at DH, that would also help fill the hole in the outfield. Aaron Judge can slide over to center field, and Stanton can play right field. With Stanton coming off an injury, though, the Yankees are likely planning for him to stick to DH for now. The Yankees also have newly acquired Greg Allen as a center field option.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is another Yankee who suffered an injury this week. He collided with Fernando Tatis Jr. at first base on Sunday. The Yankees are hoping Rizzo won’t miss significant time. While he has not been placed on the IL, he has missed two games with a stiff neck following the collision. If he does end up missing time, the return of Josh Donaldson becomes more important. DJ LeMahieu could fill the hole at first base with Donaldson returning to third.

Tommy Kahnle looks to make an impact on the Yankees’ season three years after he last pitched for them. Kahnle missed the entire 2021 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and pitched for the Dodgers in 2022 during another season riddled with injuries. Kahnle was a fan favorite in New York, and fans are hoping he’ll bring the same spark he previously brought to the team. If he can stay off the IL, Kahnle can be a big help in the Yankees bullpen.

Although the loss of Harrison Bader is a blow for the Yankees, they will be in better shape once they get Stanton, Donaldson, and Kahnle back. Hopefully, Bader won’t be on the shelf for too long.

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