TAMPA — Harrison Bader’s last swing in Wednesday’s exhibition against the Cardinals could be his last one for a while.

The Yankees center fielder said he felt rushed in his second and final at-bat of the day and took an “awkward swing on a bad pitch,” which has dealt him a strained left oblique that is expected to delay his season.

“It’s definitely a punch in the face,” Bader said Saturday morning at Steinbrenner Field. 

Bader insisted that he still does not yet have a timeframe for how long he might be out, because the Yankees were still seeking more information on the diagnosis, but even the mildest of oblique strains typically take a month to come back from, if not longer.

While Bader said he felt rushed during the at-bat in question, he did not attribute that to the pitch clock.

Harrison Bader felt rushed in his at-bat before injuring his oblique.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader has turned his attention to his recovery.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

“You just have at-bats where you feel super comfortable and you feel like you’re locked down,” he said. “Other times you feel like you’re not really dug into the dirt. I just think [Cardinals pitcher Wilking Rodriguez] did a really good job of holding the ball and disrupting my timing, which is all a competitive aspect of the game. I just took a bad swing, which I’m going to take many of in the course of a full season.”

Bader, who arrived to the Yankees last season at the trade deadline in a walking boot for plantar fasciitis, said he has quickly turned his focus to his recovery instead of sulking about the injury.

“A lot of times, you kind of rack your brain trying to figure out why something happened or what went wrong,” he said. “The reality is that a lot of times, nothing went wrong. I think life is random at times and especially when you’re as big and strong as we are, not only in the box but the guy we’re facing on the mound, he’s bringing it too, he’s just as strong. We’re moving really fast and sometimes things kind of spin out of control. Unfortunately just took a bad swing.”

Bader initially thought “it was just a little tweak,” but the Yankees sent him for an MRI on Thursday that revealed the strain.

Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader will likely miss at least a month with his oblique injury.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Depending on how long Bader might be out, the Yankees could move Aaron Judge to center temporarily or look to someone from a group that includes Rafael Ortega, Aaron Hicks and Estevan Florial.

“Obviously you don’t want to go down at all, but you kind of shift now when things happen to a much more positive outlook and you draw as much power as possible and focus on the healing process,” Bader said. “With that said, there are a lot of things in my favor. I’m just looking forward to coming back when I’m ready to come back and be effective for this team.”