ARLINGTON, Texas – Jake Bauers’ stay on the taxi squad only lasted a day.
The Yankees on Saturday promoted Bauers to the active roster, taking the spot opened by optioning Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre late Friday night.
That Bauers is replacing Cordero may be a good sign for Aaron Judge, who underwent an MRI exam on Friday for his hip that the Yankees were still waiting on a diagnosis for after Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers.
Bauers had flown to Texas on Friday morning in case the Yankees needed to put Judge on the injured list — which manager Aaron Boone said was still a possibility Friday night — though it was made clear that the outfielder/first baseman could still join the roster even if Judge avoided the IL.
That is thanks to Bauers’ hot start to the season at Triple-A, where he was batting .319 with a 1.271 OPS and nine home runs in 21 games.
“What he’s doing at Triple-A right now has been phenomenal,” Boone said Friday. “He’s earned that opportunity to at least be in this position to be truly considered and he’s done that with his performance.”
The left-handed hitting Bauers, who could jump right into Saturday’s lineup against Rangers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, would be playing his first major league game since 2021.
A former top-100 prospect with the Rays, Bauers has hit .213 with a .655 OPS in 328 major league games across parts of three different seasons.
But he said on Friday that improving his mental perspective has recently allowed him to play up to his potential.
“I’ve struggled mentally over the course of my career so far,” Bauers said. “I did a lot of work on myself to get to a place where I feel like I’m in a good spot.”
Asked whether that meant handling slumps better, Bauer said, “all of it.”
“Adversity, challenges, failing, succeeding, all of it,” he said. “I’ve kind of been in a place where I would ride the waves for a little bit. Now I feel like I’m more present with everything I’m doing. I’m more present on the field and I’m kind of just taking everything as it comes.”
With that has come some early power for Bauers.
The most home runs he had hit in any single season before this year was in 2016 at Double-A, when he had 14 homers in 581 plate appearances.
This season, he already has nine homers in 87 plate appearances.
“I think just consistency,” Bauers said. “It’s always been in there, it just hasn’t always shown up in games. So I feel like the Yankees, to their credit, have gotten my swing to a place where I’m able to do it consistently. Hopefully nothing changes now that I’m here.”
To make room for Bauers on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred Lou Trivino (UCL sprain) to the 60-day injured list.
The reliever is scheduled to get a second opinion on his elbow on Monday after experiencing a setback in his rehab last week.