Giancarlo Stanton will reportedly return to the Yankees either Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, according to manager Aaron Boone. Stanton last played on June 25 after he suffered a right knee sprain in a game against the Blue Jays.
According to NJ.com, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton could be activated either Wednesday or Thursday, as he looks to ready himself for the postseason.
"“We’ll talk about that (Tuesday night) with the trainers and Giancarlo,” Boone told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Angels at Yankee Stadium. “I would say there’s a chance he could be activated (Wednesday), otherwise I would certainly expect Thursday. We’ll kind of sort all that out.”"
Thus far, Stanton has been limited to just nine games this season to due injury—he missed more than two months at the start of the year due to a left biceps strain. The 2017 National League MVP has slashed .290/.421/.419 with a single homer and seven RBIs for the Yankees this season.
So, what does it mean for the Yankee lineup?
First of all, Stanton needs to get at-bats before the start of the postseason. He will see time in left field and possibly some at designated hitter. Remember, New York is expected to have Luke Voit and Edwin Encarnacion on the postseason roster.
Encarnacion will likely DH, while the other plays first. However, the Yankees need Stanton’s bat in the lineup and left field seems to be the best fit.
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The Yankees have had trouble with left-field since Mike Tauchman was placed on the IL on September 9 due to a left calf strain. Clint Frazier, Cameron Maybin and Tyler Wade have each started in left during Tauchman’s absence.
Frazier is batting .200 with no homers, one RBI and six strikeouts in 15 plate appearances during that span.
Maybin is batting .118 with zero homers, two RBIs and five strikeouts in 19 plate appearances in that time.
Tyler Wade—a career .194 hitter—has been the best of the three. He’s batting .364 with no homers, three RBIs and one strikeout in 12 plate appearances. Also, keep in mind that Wade is primarily an infielder. He’s made just eight career starts in left field.
In other words, the Yankees need Stanton back.
I don’t know how long it will take Stanton to regain his timing at the plate but starting on Wednesday; the Yankees have 10 regular-season games remaining.
In nine games this season, Stanton has had 38 plate appearances—an average of 4.2 plate appearances per game. That means (based on this data), Stanton will have roughly 42 plate appearances before the postseason.
If I’m manager Aaron Boone, I would have Stanton lead off a few games in order to get him up to the plate as many times as possible. Stanton’s started at the leadoff spot just once in his career—back in 2017 for the Marlins. He collected two hits in five at-bats and also recorded an RBI.
The Yankees need an effective—and healthy—Stanton as they head into October baseball. Will that happen? Only time will tell.