The New York Yankees have won three consecutive games, finally snapping a terrible cold stretch since the All-Star break. They defeated the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets in a two-game series, taking down Max Scherzer on Monday and Taijuan Walker on Tuesday night.
All three games ended with a 4–2 scoreline, showcasing elite pitching for the Yankees side but still lagging a bit behind in the offensive category.
However, the Yankees haven’t lost any ground in the AL East, which is the big takeaway. They sit eight games above the Tampa Bay Rays, who are currently on a four-game winning streak and 8.5 games over Toronto. The entire AL East is playing well aside from the Boston Red Sox, with even the Baltimore Orioles sitting six games above .500 on the season.
Yankees are getting reinforcements:
The Yankees are getting healthier, though, despite losing Clay Holmes and Scott Effross to the injured list this past week. Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton is gearing up for a return on Thursday after the team announced that Estevan Florial was being sent back down to Scranton.
On the year, Florial has spent eight games at the MLB level, hitting .050 with a 13.6% on-base rate. He did tally an RBI against Toronto, but otherwise, he’s been ineffective in the batter’s box. Oswaldo Cabrera has been far more productive, tallying an RBI against the Mets on Tuesday with a walk to boot.
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Florial offered solid defensive efficiency, but given his lackluster bat, the Yankees didn’t see any way to keep him on the roster, especially with the return of Stanton within view.
Stanton last appeared against the Baltimore Orioles on July 23. He’s hitting .228 this season with a 31% on-base rate and .498 slugging percentage. He’s recorded 24 homers with 61 RBIs, including a 28.4% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate.
Stanton is incredibly important to the Yankees lineup, sliding in as the cleanup hitter on an everyday basis. It will be interesting to see how manager Aaron Boone utilizes him as an outfield option in right field.
Given his Achilles tendinitis, they likely want to limit his exposure in the outfield, but they may have no choice given the lack of options with Aaron Hicks struggling considerably.
Nonetheless, Stanton returning is a huge step in the right direction, and with the Yankees expecting to get healthier in mid-September, he has plenty of time to ramp up ahead of the playoffs.