New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke to the media on Sunday before his team took on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Boone provided several updates, one of them focusing on Giancarlo Stanton and his progress returning from Achilles tendinitis.
Stanton has been out since July 23, enjoying just one at-bat against the Baltimore Orioles before the Yankees pulled him. He’s been rehabilitating for over three weeks now, fighting his way back from the same injury that Aroldis Chapman faced earlier in the season.
Boone stated that Stanton was making good progress, and he would begin a minor league rehab assignment this upcoming week after participating in batting practice before Monday’s game.
The Yankees need Giancarlo’s bat in the lineup:
This season, Stanton is hitting .228 with a 31% on-base rate and .495 slugging percentage. He’s hit 24 homers and 61 RBIs, recording a 10.7% walk rate and 28.4% strikeout rate.
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With every injury, it becomes less likely that Stanton can feature as a defensive asset in the outfield. With Matt Carpenter expected to make a return from a fractured foot before the playoffs, the Yankees will have to balance the designated hitter spot between Stanton and Carpenter.
In the meantime, the Yankees have injected Josh Donaldson into the cleanup spot, Stanton‘s normal position in the batting order. When batting fourth, Donaldson is hitting .265 with a 34.5% on-base percentage, recording one homer and five RBIs. Stanton has taken nearly every at-bat in at clean-up, given his incredible power.
The team desperately misses Stanton‘s ability to change the course of the game in the blink of an eye. Hosting a 53% hard-hit rate and 21% barrel rate this season, one swing of the bat can make a difference in the Yankees winning and losing games, especially with the starting pitching performing well lately. However, it’s a good sign that Stanton is preparing to start a rehab assignment.