Donaldson and Stanton could soon return to the Yankees roster
Not that the Yankees roster seems to need it right now, but a pair of veteran hitters could be back off the injured list soon.
Josh Donaldson is in line to begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Thursday and Giancarlo Stanton could follow a similar schedule.
Both sluggers practiced early at bat ahead of the Yankees’ 9-6 loss to the Orioles on Wednesday night in the Bronx. Donaldson is on the mend from a right hamstring strain and Stanton suffered a left hamstring injury.
Manager Aaron Boone said Donaldson would “probably” begin his rehab mission with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, with another game on Friday, a day off on Saturday and potentially a final game on Sunday before an assessment is made. be made to find out if the third baseman is ready to join the team.
Boone said Donaldson could “maybe” be back in time for the series in Seattle, which begins Tuesday, but it would be “more likely” when the Yankees visit the Dodgers later in the week, due to the weather. ‘he spent.
Donaldson has been out since leaving the game on April 5, and his return was delayed by a thumb injury last week.
Boone said Donaldson will be an everyday player when he returns, which means the Yankees will have to do some infield maneuvering.
Stanton is due to have his hamstring scanned on Thursday to see how well he is healing. If it goes as planned, he could also begin a rehab mission at some point this weekend. Stanton said he felt “great” after taking batting practices, heading the bases and doing outfield drills.
Boone said he intended to use Stanton in the outfield when he returned. He would be limited to playing right field at home, and the Yankees could use Aaron Judge or Greg Allen in center field to spell Harrison Bader.
Stanton, who was injured on April 15, has homered four times in 13 games this season, and Donaldson has homered in just five games.
Donaldson’s return would have the biggest impact on DJ LeMahieu, who served as the first third baseman in his absence. LeMahieu has been slumping lately and is in a 3-for-26 funk with eight strikeouts.
During the season, he also hit an alarming 27% clip, nearly double his career average of 14.9%.
“He widened [the zone] when he was behind in the count,” Boone said of LeMahieu’s spike in strikeouts. “It’s ebb and flow. He developed more than usual on two-strike breaking balls out of the area.
But Boone still had LeMahieu hitting the cleanup Wednesday, when he went 1 for 4 with one strikeout.
“He had a little stretch where he didn’t get a lot of hits this week,” Boone said. “With DJ, that can change in the blink of an eye. He made some really good swings [Tuesday] night,” Boone said.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa started in left field Wednesday for the third time in five games since Aaron Hicks was designated for an assignment and hit a two-run home run.
Six of Kiner-Falefa’s last seven starts have come on the left and he has homered three in that streak.
Kyle Higashioka struck out in both of his plate appearances on Wednesday and is now 2 for 20 with nine strikeouts in his last nine games.
He was replaced by pinch hitter Willie Calhoun in the seventh.
Higashioka also allowed a passed ball.
He became the main catcher with Jose Trevino on the IL.
With two home runs on Wednesday, Gleyber Torres hit 20 in 74 games against Baltimore, his record against any opponent.
Judge tied a season high with three walks. … Tommy Kahnle (biceps) could also start a rehab assignment on Thursday at Triple-A.
— Additional reporting by Andrew Crane
New York Post