The Yankees just got Giancarlo Stanton back last Tuesday after a lengthy stint on the injured list, but the slugging outfielder could already be facing another absence.
Stanton was removed from Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over the Blue Jays before the fourth inning with a right knee contusion, the Yankees announced. He was scheduled for an MRI Tuesday night.
Brett Gardner replaced Stanton in leftfield and went 0-for-3. Stanton singled in his only at-bat but was thrown out at third base trying to advance on Luke Voit’s groundout, ending the first inning.
Replays showed that Stanton’s left hand might have been stepped on by Blue Jays pitcher Clayton Richard (who was covering third base), but the injury is apparently to Stanton’s knee.
“I think [sliding] into third,” Aaron Boone said of when the injury might have occurred. “He’s a little unsure if it was sliding into second or going to third, so we’ll see what we have tomorrow.”
Stanton played the field in the second and third innings before being removed.
“He stayed in the game, and I think he had kind of alerted me like, ‘Maybe get Gardy going,’ ” Boone said. “After he moved around in the outfield there, felt like it was the right thing to do.”
With one out in the first inning, Voit hit a hard grounder between shortstop and third base. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made a diving play and strong throw to get Voit at first. Stanton slid feet-first into second in case of a throw from Guerrero, but none was made.
When Stanton popped to his feet, he noticed nobody was covering third base and made a dash for the bag. First baseman Rowdy Tellez made a strong throw to Richard, who was on his way to cover, and Stanton was tagged out despite a headfirst slide.
With the lineup seemingly back at full strength with most — if not all — of its heavy hitters back, losing Stanton for an extended period of time would be less than ideal. Certainly, the team is well equipped to handle his absence with the likes of Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman waiting in Triple-A and plenty of powerful bats still healthy, but Boone isn’t ready to jump to conclusions about Stanton’s injury.
“At this point, I’m hoping bone bruise and I think tomorrow will be a better indicator if he comes in, are we dealing with swelling or anything?” Boone said. “We can evaluate him better then.”
Stanton had hit well since returning from the injured list, a stint that started with a biceps strain but also included setbacks due to a shoulder strain and calf tightness.
After going 0-for-4 on June 18 in his first game, Stanton went 7-for-19 with one home run, one double and seven RBIs. His home run, a 445-foot, three-run blast against Toronto on Monday, was his first of 2019.
When asked about his level of concern considering a possible interruption to Stanton’s hot hitting, Boone didn’t sound any alarms.
“I don’t want to get into speculating into what it may or may not be, but if it’s something that’s short, eventually he’ll get into a good place,” he said.