MINNEAPOLIS — The Yankees could use some offense right now, and Jake Bauers has produced plenty in Triple-A.
The left-handed swinger has been in favor for the RailRiders, posting four doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 20 RBIs and a .333/.481/.883 slash line through his first 19 games. With The Yankees are struggling to scoreAaron Boone has noticed Bauer’s early-season growth.
“It certainly got our attention,” the manager said on Wednesday morning. “It certainly made a lot of us pay attention to it. We’ll see what happens.”
Bauers has 328 games of big league experience with Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Seattle. He hit 23 home runs in 213 games in 2018-19, but hasn’t played in the majors since 2021.
The 27-year-old played for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season and hit well this past spring. Bauers split his time pretty evenly between first base, designated hitter and the corner outfield spots this year.
Bauers is not on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, but Boone noted the Yankees “need to get more” out of left field.
“There’s this opportunity that exists right now,” Boone continued. “Who wants to grab it?”
Andres Chaparro also appeared in Boone’s pregame scrum. The 23-year-old corner has crushed eight homers in his first 20 games at Triple-A.
“He can really hit,” Boone said, noting that Chaparro has bounced back from a slow start to the season. “It hit and we know this is it, so it’s good to see that.”
KAHNLE IS ENJOYED
Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendonitis) returned to the mound Wednesday morning for a 15-pitch bullpen at Target Field.
“He was very encouraged. Tommy is usually excited, but Tommy was excited,” Boone said of the relevant eccentric. “He’s been trending for the last three, four weeks and this is the next step.”
Kahnle, who couldn’t remember when his last neighborhood was after being held out of spring traininghe joked that he’s not used to a slope.
“My first pitch off the mound, I wasn’t used to going down,” the righty said with a laugh.
The plan is for Kahnle to throw another pen on Sunday. Boone added that he hopes to have the pitcher back by the end of May.
Aaron Judge has played in every Yankees game so far, so Boone was asked to find a day off for the slugger amid the team’s offensive woes. Could the Yankees’ four-game streak in Texas provide some R&R for the reigning MVP?
“We’ll see,” Boone said.
The skipper added that, at a minimum, Judge will DH once or twice to minimize his time on the turf at Globe Life Field.