Harrison Bader’s long, winding road to suiting up for the Yankees may finally be coming to an end. The light at the end of the tunnel may be this upcoming Tuesday when Bader will make his debut in pinstripes, according to The Athletic.
The trade deadline acquisition has been sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which has kept him off the field and created a bit of a stir among Yankees fans. New York acquired Bader in exchange for pitcher Jordan Montgomery full well knowing that it would be some time before the former Gold-Glover would be able to step on the field.
Bader has been down in Double-A Somerset doing a rehab stint. In three games, he has gone 3-for-11 and hit a home run, and he has stayed away from the grumblings about the deal.
While Bader has been sidelined, Montgomery has been an ace on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals which has given off the sense that it was an even trade.
“Is that what they’re saying?” Bader told The Athletic. “I haven’t seen that. Stuff like that is not going to help my rehab go any faster. And in a time when you’re trying to get back, as much as it is physical, there is an element to the subconscious. It’s a career. It’s important. I’m not taking my time, not going slowly by any means. We’re going to do it right.”
The Yankees brought in Bader for his defensive acumen in the outfield and it couldn’t come sooner as New York has taken a hit in that area. Andrew Benintendi has been out with a wrist injury and there’s a chance that he may not be back for the rest of this season.
Aaron Hicks also struggled significantly and would likely be pushed out of the lineup with Bader’s return.
“I’m going out there to be a total player,” Bader said. “Not that I needed it by any means, but being traded puts a lot into perspective for you. It lights a lot of fires. It definitely lit something under me. Having the ability to control your own narrative in a new place is something I just cannot be more excited about.”