ARLINGTON — Beset by injuries and inconsistency, the Yankees called up one of their hottest-hitting minor leaguers to potentially provide a boost on offense.
The Yankees added lefty-swinging outfielder Jake Bauers to the major-league roster Saturday ahead of their road game against the Texas Rangers. His call-up came two days after Aaron Judge left the series opener in Arlington with right hip discomfort and the morning after Franchy Cordero was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Bauers, who slugged nine home runs in 21 games with the RailRiders this season, arrived in Texas before Friday’s game as a member of the traveling taxi squad.
“I’ve got no expectations,” Bauers said in the clubhouse. “I’m gonna do whatever they need me to do. Whether it’s go sit at the hotel for a few days or be in the dugout, be in the lineup, it doesn’t matter. Whatever they need.”
Bauers, 27, previously played in the MLB with Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Seattle. He’s hit .213 with 27 home runs across 328 career big-league games, most recently appearing in the Majors in 2021.
The Yankees acquired Bauers from Cincinnati last June, and he spent the remainder of the 2022 season at Triple-A. He impressed during spring training this year with 11 hits in 27 at-bats, then continued his torrid play at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he batted .304, reached base at a .448 clip and slugged .797.
Bauers attributes his hot start to a change to his mindset, saying he’s adjusted how he deals with success, failure and adversity.
“Getting out of my own way. Kind of figured out myself mentally a little bit, and that allowed me to figure out myself physically,” Bauers said. “I feel like I’m just in a good spot right now and I’m not looking to really change anything.”
His power stroke could add some pop to a banged-up Yankees outfield that’s currently down sluggers Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, as well as Harrison Bader, who led the team with five home runs last postseason.
“I think it’s always kind of been in there, it just hasn’t really always showed up in games,” Bauers said of his power uptick. “I feel like the Yankees, to their credit, have gotten my swing to a place where I’m able to just do it consistently.”
Bauers’ production at Triple-A impressed Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who called his start to the season “phenomenal.”
“He’s earned that opportunity to at least be in this position to be truly considered, and he’s done that with his performance,” Boone said.
Cordero, 28, got off to a hot start in 2023, hitting four home runs in his first seven games, but went hitless in his last 21 at-bats before Friday night’s demotion. He failed as well to catch two hard-hit line drives that landed in right field for doubles during Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers.
On Saturday, the Yankees also moved reliever Lou Trivino to the 60-day injured list. Trivino, who has not pitched in a game this season, is scheduled Monday to get a second opinion on his ailing right elbow.