Giancarlo Stanton is expected to miss a sizeable portion of this nine-week, pandemic-shortened 2020 baseball season. The Yankees’ oft-injured slugger had an MRI exam on the left hamstring where he felt tightness after advancing on a wild pitch Saturday. It revealed a strain that isn’t Grade 2, but which manager Aaron Boone described as “1 or 1-plus.”
He is expected to be out 3 to 4 weeks.
Stanton was limited to just 18 games in 2019 by injuries to his shoulder, knee, calf and quadriceps. He returned for this season having shed about 20 pounds to better avoid injuries. And the designated hitter was off to an excellent start: he has a 1.038 OPS with three home runs and seven RBIs through 14 games played.
Asked about the 3-to-4 week prognosis, Boone said it “seems about right but, that said, we’re also in the early days. It’s kind of a recovery/treatment kind of week so we’ll have a better idea at the end of the week about how he’s responding and when he’s allowed to start ramping up (for) baseball activity.”
The Yankees recalled outfielder Clint Frazier from their Alternate Training Site and he is likely to get some of the at-bats that were going to the injured Stanton. Frazier was sent down on July 26, a move the club found hard to make.
“He's going to play an important role for us – obviously off the bench tonight – and could provide a big spot,” Boone said. “It was very difficult having to send him out . . . based on his past performance, his talent, what we believe he can do. Also, how he performed in the spring and summer.
“I feel like where he's at right now – he went down there the next day and got right to work – it’s been really good and consistent,” Boone added. “We’re excited to have him back.”
Mike Ford started at designated hitter and Frazier could platoon with him in that spot. He also could see action in the outfield. “I could see him getting looks everywhere,” Boone said.
Closer Aroldis Chapman was to throw to hitters on Tuesday, Boone said, but the club is not yet ready to activate him. Chapman has been out since testing positive for COVID-19 in early July. . . . Backup catcher Kyle Higashioka had an MRI on the oblique strain that landed him on the injured list Saturday and the results didn’t look severe, Boone said. He still has discomfort typical of an oblique injury and the manager said the MRI “suggests he's still won't be doing any baseball activities for a handful of days here.” . . . The Pirates claimed righthander Nick Tropeano, a West Islip product. The Yankees designated him for assignment on Saturday