Good news has been a rarity for the Yankees the past few weeks. The face of the franchise is on the IL, the club is scuffling, and there doesn’t seem to be any easy solution. Today, however, New York announced a couple key pieces of good news.
First, Harrison Bader is back. After a rehab assignment over the weekend to complete his recovery from a hamstring strain, the Yankees activated Bader earlier today and the all-world center fielder will be back in the lineup tonight when New York faces Seattle in the Bronx. New York had already cleared a spot for him on the 26-man roster by optioning the disappointing Oswaldo Cabrera to the minors Sunday night, after Boston polished off its sweep at Fenway.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees returned from rehab and reinstated OF Harrison Bader (#22) from the 10-day injured list.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 20, 2023
Additionally, LHP Carlos Rodón commences a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset.
We’ll see to what extent Bader can help lift a Yankee offense that is well... offensive. When Bader went on the IL most recently, he was sporting a 118 wRC+, though he had cooled off a bit from a torrid start to the season. On the bases and especially in the field, Bader’s return could not come soon enough.
Bader had already swiped six bases in limited action, and was playing his usual otherworldly level of defense in center. Bader ranks ninth in baseball in Runs Prevented and 8th in Outs Above Average. Considering he has only played in 26 games so far this season, those are some impressive defensive rankings. Ideally, he can at least stay healthy for a little while longer this time around after an oblique injury cost him his first month of 2023.
On the other side of the ball, Carlos Rodón begins his rehab assignment at Double-A, pitching for the Somerset Patriots. The Yankees’ signature free agent addition this past off-season is slowly but surely approaching a big league return. Manager Aaron Boone has already indicated that Rodón will need at least three rehab starts to build up before making his Yankees debut.
Forearm and back issues have kept Rodón sidelined, though there is now some light at the end of the tunnel. If the southpaw comes back in the form he’s shown the past couple of seasons, he’ll join Gerrit Cole to form a formidable one-two punch at the top of a rotation that could seriously use reinforcement.
Coming off an offday, hopefully the Yankees have gotten over being swept by Boston at Fenway over the weekend and are ready for Seattle. They’ll face the Mariners with Darth Bader back in the lineup, and knowing that Carlos Rodón is making his way back to the big leagues.