It’s only been five weeks since outfielder Mike Tauchman was diagnosed with a Grade 2 calf strain that came with a six- to eight-week recovery timetable, seemingly ending his season. However, general manager Brian Cashman told Joel Sherman of the New York Post prior to today’s Game 3 against the Astros that Tauchman is “healthy end eligible” to return to the roster, should New York need to place Giancarlo Stanton (or anyone else) on the injured list.
Stanton is currently day-to-day with a quadriceps issue and didn’t start either Game 2 or Game 3 of the current series, but he homered in Game 1 and is hitting .300/.467/.600 thus far in a tiny sample of 15 postseason plate appearances. His bat would be a welcome addition against a potent ’Stros pitching staff, of course, but playing shorthanded also does the club no favors. That said, putting Stanton on the injured list is no small decision; should the Yankees do so and then advance to the World Series, Stanton would be ineligible to return. Notably, there’s quite a bit of rain in tomorrow’s forecast in New York, and potential postponement could buy the team some time to further deliberate.
Tauchman, 28, was a godsend for the injury-plagued Yankees in 2019. The 2013 tenth-round pick never got an extended look in the Majors with the Rockies, but he stepped up with a strong .277/.361/.504 batting line with 13 home runs, 18 doubles and a triple in 296 plate appearances. Even if Tauchman isn’t added to the ALCS roster, the Yankees would have the ability to reset their 25-man group between the ALCS and a theoretical World Series berth.