Injured Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t appeared in the majors since March 31, but it looks as if he’s nearing a return. The slugger will begin a rehab assignment Monday or Tuesday, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone (via James Wagner of the New York Times). If there aren’t any setbacks, he’ll be back in the majors 20 days from then.
In Stanton’s case, it would be unwise to automatically assume a smooth rehab stint. After all, the 29-year-old Stanton has already seen his rehab process go haywire this season. Stanton originally went to the injured list because of a left biceps strain, and he then suffered multiple other left side injuries (to his shoulder and calf) which have prevented him from returning to the Yankees.
Injuries to Stanton and fellow big-hitting corner outfielder Aaron Judge have forced New York to rely on Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Cameron Maybin and Mike Tauchman for the majority of the season. That quartet, to its credit, has performed reasonably well. However, every member of that group pales in comparison to Judge and Stanton. While Stanton didn’t come close to matching his NL MVP-winning output with the Marlins from 2017 last season, he still slashed .266/.343/.509 (127 wRC+) with 38 home runs in 705 plate appearances.
Just as the Yankees will welcome Stanton’s return with open arms, they’ll be thrilled when injured reliever Dellin Betances is back on their roster. However, Betances isn’t as close to a comeback. The right-hander, who has been out all season with a bone spur in his shoulder, “felt soreness” in his lat during a throwing session this week, Wagner reports. Betances will head to New York for tests.