There’s still no exact timetable for Giancarlo Stanton’s return from the IL but according to Yankees skipper Aaron Boone, he’s finally resumed baseball activities.
It had been a while since we heard any positive news regarding Stanton’s recovery from a PCL strain in his right knee. He suffered the injury sliding headfirst into third base back on June 25th when the Yankees faced the Blue Jays in the Bronx. It was only six games after he had returned from shoulder and calf issues that kept him sidelined the previous 67 games.
This latest injury has kept him out of the lineup for the last 33 games so he’s now missed 106 of the Yanks 115 games so far this season with plenty more to come. He has hit .290 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and a .421 OBP but again he’s only played in nine games.
It’s pretty incredible when you look at how his teammates really haven’t missed a beat without him all season. However, with the recent injuries to Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, and Aaron Hicks the Yanks could sure use Stanton’s power bat back in the heart of their order.
They’ll get some help on Saturday with the return of All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez, which will be huge, but Sanchez alone won’t help make up for the absence of the three sluggers mentioned above. Getting Stanton back at some point certainly would, but it remains to be seen if he’ll even return before any of them.
As long as Hicks’ elbow injury isn’t anything more than just a right flexor strain he should be back before the end of the month. If it led to something worse like Tommy John surgery he’d obviously be lost for the rest of the season.
As for Encarnacion, he’ll reportedly be out for at least the next 3 to 5 weeks which is sooner than a lot of people expected after it was announced he fractured his wrist. Then again the Yanks said the same thing when Aaron Judge suffered a similar injury last season and he missed eight weeks.
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Voit’s return timetable is still up in the air because it hasn’t been decided whether he’ll need surgery for the sports hernia that put him on the IL. He received an injection that will hopefully allow him to return sometime soon and play through the injury, but if surgery is deemed necessary he could be out for the rest of the regular season.
With the uncertainty surrounding these injuries, it makes it even more crucial that Stanton can make it back for the majority of September and than return to his All-Star form. It’s definitely been a lost season for him up to this point but he can make up for it by making a big contribution down the stretch and in the postseason.
Right now he has a lot of critics and doubters who don’t think the Yankees really need him to win a World Series. That may be true but only because this team is so deep offensively. What’s also true is there’s no doubt that getting Stanton back would only increase their odds of winning another championship and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong.