Harrison Bader brings relief to injury-prone Yankees

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Amid LeMahieu’s injury concerns, the Yankees have some good news. Harrison Bader says he is “fully good to go.”

The center fielder has been out of action since early March because of an oblique strain. On Thursday, Harrison Bader did his first full day of baseball activities, such as running the bases, catching fly balls, and throwing from the outfield, and he felt good at the end of the day.

Yankees adopt a cautious approach on Harrison Bader

Still, the Yankees will put him under more training before he can go full speed in the major leagues.

The next step will be for him to keep doing baseball activities for a few days to make sure Harrison Bader is ready for a rehab assignment.

“Assuming all the boxes get checked in terms of how I’m responding,” Bader said before the Yankees played their first 2023 game against the Twins, “it’s right around the corner, which is very exciting.”

Manager Aaron Boone said Harrison Bader is “doing great,” but the Bronxville native will not be rushed back to the major leagues.

Yankees Harrison Bader after hitting a home run

Harrison Bader had only 12 at-bats in the Grapefruit League before getting hurt. He will need more than a tune-up in the minors before he is considered ready.

“It’s not just going to be a few days down there,” Boone said of Bader. “He’s gotta play some games and obviously get up to playing back-to-back and volume of innings and things like that.”

IKF entered the bullpen

After he asked a lot of a few relievers, Boone said the Yankees were “talking about some things” about possible trades in the bullpen.

After Jhony Brito got just two outs, Colten Brewer (3 1/3 innings) and Ian Hamilton (3 innings) pitched the early and middle innings until Jimmy Cordero and utility player Isiah Kiner-Falefa pitched the last two innings.

“Obviously, that’s not ideal,” Boone said about a bullpen that has been great but could use a fresh arm.

Kiner-Falefa pitched for the first time in his career. He gave up one hit and no runs in one inning.

“I loved it,” Anthony Rizzo said. “It saves us big time for [Friday].”

Yankees injury scare not over

DJ LeMahieu missed his second straight game because of a tight quad. Manager Aaron Boone said that decision was made Wednesday night.

The manager wanted to make sure that LeMahieu had another day off.

“I know just going through his pre[game] stuff, felt like he was doing better,” Boone said. “Hopefully it’s not much more [time].”

Jose Trevino didn’t start for the second straight game because he hit a ball off his toe on Tuesday. Boone said that the catcher is “fine” and should be back in the lineup on Friday.

Josh Donaldson of the New York Yankees

Josh Donaldson (hamstring strain) worked out on the field before the game. He ran sprints, changed directions, and took ground balls at third base.

Boone said that they haven’t decided yet if Donaldson, who could be activated as soon as Monday, will need a rehab assignment.

“He’s feeling good,” Boone said. “Now it’s just a matter of when and what.”

Carlos Rodon, who had a strain in his left forearm, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and felt good enough to play catch on Thursday.

Rodon’s schedule was pushed back a few days this week because his back was stiff. He will throw another bullpen session on Sunday or Monday.

“Hopefully now getting that bump in the road out of there,” Boone said of Rodon’s back.

Luis Severino, who has a strain in his right lat, threw a bullpen session on Thursday and did fine.

Boone said that Severino will probably throw a split session on Monday, with some pitches in the bullpen and some against batters.

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