On Sunday Giancarlo Stanton described himself as “fine,” and manager Aaron Boone said on the same day he wasn’t “concerned,” even as he held the outfielder/DH out of the lineup a second straight day.
Tuesday brought something far different.
Stanton, who started in just two of the Yankees’ five games after the All-Star break after winning the All-Star Game MVP last Tuesday night in Los Angeles, was placed on the injured list with left Achilles tendinitis.
The club backdated the stint to last Sunday. Outfielder Tim Locastro was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes- Barre to take Stanton’s place on the roster.
“Yesterday [Monday], I got a call in the afternoon from our trainers and [they] said, ‘G requested an MRI.’ And I said, ‘on what?’” Aaron Boone said Tuesday before the Yankees opened their two-game series against the Mets at Citi Field. “His Achilles. He woke up and it was kind of really sore getting around. So he went and got it [the MRI]. It was right on the point he talked about, where the found the tendinitis. So hoping it's a minor thing and we believe that, but that’s what changed [from Sunday].”
Stanton, hitting .228 with 24 homers and an .807 OPS in 80 games, began getting treatment Tuesday at the Stadium (he had a locker in the visiting clubhouse here but was not at Citi Field). Boone said it was too soon to give a timeline for Stanton’s return, but said 2-3 weeks can’t be ruled out. Additionally, the fifth-year manager said it was too soon to say when Stanton will be cleared to begin baseball activities.
“I’m not even sure,” Boone said. “I'm sure he'll start to do some things before the end of that 10 days [the minimum IL stint length], but it'll probably be depending on how he's doing and how he's getting around each day.”
Sunday in Baltimore Boone described Stanton as “exhausted” heading into the All-Star break — perhaps ultimately the reason he passed on the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium. It's a place the outfielder grew up going to with his father, Mike.
Tuesday Boone said the Achilles likely was bothering Stanton before the All-Star Game, but he also indicated that Monday was the first time he had heard the Achilles specifically raised as an issue.
“I think so,” Boone said of the injury predating the trip to Los Angeles. “In the conversations he and I had, it's just [he was] kind of a little tired, a little beat up. The last couple of weeks, I've kind of sensed that, but I don't think there was anything, to my knowledge, that was specific to this. So it was he was just kind of beat up. And then after not playing the last couple days and then waking up the way he did [Monday] set off the alarm in his head like, ‘let's get this checked out.’”
The Yankees were in the market for an outfield upgrade before the Stanton injury and those efforts will only increase now. In the meantime, Matt Carpenter and his red-hot bat will keep seeing time in the outfield, which had already been taking place with regularity despite the veteran’s lack of outfield time up until a few weeks ago.
“Getting better every day,” said Carpenter, who until this season had not played in the outfield since 2013. “Getting a lot of reps and getting some game reps out there. Going to continue to put the work in.”
Best-case scenario for King?
Indications are Michael King, lost for the season Friday when he suffered a right elbow fracture delivering a pitch during that night’s game against the Orioles, will not need Tommy John surgery. King returned to New York on Saturday for further evaluation and the early determination was there wasn’t ligament damage that would require Tommy John. That means instead of likely missing all of next season, which would be the case if he needed that surgery, King has a chance of being fully recovered, or close to fully recovered, in time for spring training.