The Yankees announced Friday that right fielder Aaron Judge will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight. Additionally, Giancarlo Stanton’s rehab assignment will be moved up from Class-A Tampa to Triple-A as well.
It’s a breath of fresh air for a Yankees team that has been without its top two sluggers for nearly the entire season. Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1, while Judge was placed there alongside him 20 days later. The two have combined for just 23 games and 104 plate appearances between them, although that hasn’t stopped the Yankees from putting together the fourth-best record in the Majors as they jostle with the Rays for the AL East lead. The now-looming return of both Judge and Stanton only strengthens their position within the division.
Clint Frazier has had some misadventures patrolling right field in absence of Judge and Stanton, while the Yankees have turned to a host of others for shorter glimpses in right field and at designated hitter. Mike Tauchman, Kendrys Morales, Cameron Maybin and Mike Ford have all seen some time in one or both of those spots as New York has capably patched over the lineup in absence of arguably its two biggest bats.
There’s still no official timetable on the return of either Judge or Stanton. Given that Stanton’s already played a pair of games in Tampa, he seems likelier to return first, but it stands to reason that both will be back in the Yankees’ lineup within the next couple of weeks (barring any setbacks).