Cameron Maybin appears to be ahead of schedule for returning from the left calf strain he suffered June 21. Make that way ahead of schedule.
Maybin got hurt running down a ball in the outfield in a win over the Astros, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain and was put on a six-week timetable to get back. Before Saturday’s game – three weeks and a day since the injury – he was running in the Stadium outfield before the Yankees faced the Blue Jays.
Afterward, he declared himself ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment and said the plan is for that to begin in the coming week after he tests himself running the bases.
“I feel pretty close,” Maybin said.
“For being a fairly significant strain, the few days after [the injury] I remember talking to him,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He's like, ‘I'm feeling pretty good. I heal up well.’ He's doing well and we'll see how this week unfolds.”
With no timetable set for Giancarlo Stanton to return from a knee injury, Maybin could get playing time immediately upon his return.
Maybin was asked after his workout about his progress running and replied, “It’s great – I’m faster than everybody in here except Gardy [Brett Gardner] . . . I’m faster than Gardy when I’m healthy. Right now I’m 98 percent. I need to be 100 percent to beat Gardy.”
The Yankees' outfield was badly depleted because of injuries in late April when Maybin was acquired from the Indians. In 42 games (34 starts), the 32-year-old hit .314 with five home runs, 14 RBIs and an .891 OPS. He was on a tear when he got hurt, hitting .478 with four home runs and six RBIs in the last seven games. It had created a bit of a conundrum because the Yankees' outfield finally was at full strength and it wasn’t clear if there would be a way to keep Maybin on the active roster.
The Yankees never had to make that call because of the injury.
Luis Severino met with team doctors on Saturday and the club expects on Sunday to have a date when he again will start throwing. Severino, who was expected to be the team’s ace this season after going 19-8 last year, hasn’t pitched because of shoulder and lat injuries . . . Edwin Encarnacion was hit on the left arm by a 96-mph fastball by Daniel Hudson in the eighth but remained in the game. Boone said afterward that it’s not expected to keep him out of the lineup . . . Gary Sanchez caught the day game after a night game – which is fairly rare – but will have Sunday off, Boone said . . . DJ LeMahieu turned 31 Saturday.