Centerfield has been a disaster for the Yankees all season long. Aaron Boone is hoping that Harrison Bader can fix that when he gets on the field next week.
The Yankees knew it would be months before Harrison Bader could take the field when they acquired him in exchange for Jordan Montgomery at the MLB Trade Deadline. It’s finally time for GM Brian Cashman to see what the deal can accomplish on the field when Bader makes his much-anticipated debut next week.
Manager Aaron Boone informed reporters that the former Cardinals outfielder will be activated in advance of Tuesday’s game against the Pirates. It’s safe to say the move can’t come soon enough for Yankees fans.
MVP candidate Aaron Judge has been forced to man the taxing outfield position for long stretches of the season. It’s in New York’s best interest to reduce the wear and tear on his legs in advance of what the franchise hopes is a lengthy postseason run.
Yankees finally ready for Harrison Bader debut
Veteran Aaron Hicks was supposed to man the important position but his season has been a massive disappointment. The team cannot afford to carry his paltry .213 batting average and .326 on-base percentage heading into October. The hope is that Bader can step right in and give the offense a much-needed jolt of speed and traffic on the base paths.
Yankee fans shouldn’t expect too much from Bader though. It might take him some time to round into form after his long injury layoff. It’s also fair to point out that he’s never been anything more than a solid hitter during his professional career. He can outhit Hicks but that’s a relatively low bar to clear.
Bader can make his biggest impact with his glove. He’s a plus centerfielder who can erase hits. That skill is magnified in playoff games where saving runs is at a premium. Cashman needs Bader to make a few highlight reel catches down the stretch to make his decision to acquire him look like a shrewd decision.