The Yankees seem set to get a pair of important reinforcements back, as manager Aaron Boone told Jon Morosi of MLB Network Radio on Monday that sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are likely to return from the injured list this week. Judge resumed swinging Monday, while Stanton did so on Sunday.
The Yankees have gone almost the entire past month-plus without Judge, who has been on the IL twice since Aug. 11 because of calf issues. He returned from his first stint Aug. 26, but Judge didn’t last the full game and went back on the IL after that. The injury problems cut off what was an excellent opening to 2020 for Judge, who has slashed an elite-level .292/.343/.739 with nine home runs in 71 plate appearances. The Yankees have primarily turned right field over to Clint Frazier, who’s having a terrific year at the plate in his own right, in Judge’s absence.
Stanton, meanwhile, hasn’t played since Aug. 8 on account of a left hamstring strain. Like Judge, Stanton got off to a great start this year with a .293/.453/.585 mark and three home in 54 trips to the plate. A corner outfielder for most of his career, Stanton saw all of his action at designated hitter this year before winding up on the shelf. New York has used various players at DH as subs for Stanton.
In spite of prolonged absences for Judge and Stanton, the Yankees have put up above-average offensive numbers this year, as they rank ninth in wRC+ (107) and 12th in runs (223). They were supposed to boast a stacked offense, though, and the fact that they haven’t has led to a relatively disappointing 26-21 start and a four-game deficit in the American League East. But if Judge and Stanton are their usual selves when they return, they could help the Yankees lock down a playoff spot and perhaps make a serious World Series run in the postseason.