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Yankees place Jake Bauers on IL with knee injury

The hits just keep on coming for the Yankees, who had called Bauers up on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Aaron Judge.

Jake Bauers of the New York Yankees walks off the field after slamming on to the outfield wall while fielding a fly ball against the Texas Rangers in the \bottom of the first inning at Globe Life Field on April 29, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

At this point the New York Yankees’ injury report has become a sick joke. Just a day after calling up Jake Bauers as insurance for Aaron Judge — still out with a hip strain that he hopes won’t require a trip to the injured list — the team has now put Bauers himself on the IL after the outfielder banged his knee into the left-field wall during Saturday night’s game against the Texas Rangers.

The team has yet to issue any sort of official diagnosis, but “still too swollen to undergo an MRI” really doesn’t sound good. Franchy Cordero, who 24 hours ago was sent down to Triple-A, is back with New York to take Bauers’ place on the roster, although he’s cooled off significantly since his torrid start to the season.

Not that Bauers was much better — the former Tampa Bay Ray and Cleveland Guardian is a career .213/.307/.348 hitter at the Major League level — but he was crushing the ball in Triple-A, and at this point the Yankees just need warm bodies to soak up at-bats. New York’s outfield on Sunday consists of Oswaldo Cabrera, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Aaron Hicks, which sounds like something out of Yankees’ fans nightmares prior to the start of the season. Harrison Bader will be finished with his rehab assignment soon, but of course he’s also a major injury risk himself and hasn’t played more than 103 games in a season since 2019.

Brian Cashman elected not to add any major offensive pieces over the offseason, resigning Judge and then spending big on starter Carlos Rodon (who is also, naturally, injured) rather than bolstering an offense that got exposed as painfully thin down the stretch of last season. There’s still plenty of time for New York to get healthy, but that looks like an awfully questionable decision right now, especially if Judge is forced to miss extended time.