Giancarlo Stanton may be a go in the ALCS after all.
He didn’t play in Games 2 or 3 and was not in the starting lineup for Game 4 after suffering a right quadriceps strain in Game 1, but Aaron Boone said he could be a DH option for Game 5.
“Felt like today [was] the first day he was probably better,” Boone said before Game 4. “Sixty-percent run-wise, probably. Not ready to put him in the outfield, especially here, but feel like he’s probably close to a DH option, that kind of thing. Certainly, a hitter off the bench for us in a spot [Thursday night].”
Part of the Yankees’ hesitation in replacing Stanton on the roster is the MLB-mandated rule that any player removed in a series is ineligible for the next round — in this case, meaning the World Series if the Yankees get there.
“We could always do that if we felt that’s something we want to do, but clearly we haven’t done it,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “Again, he’s eligible to come off the bench if we want.”
Boone said that while Stanton could be in play Friday, it isn’t automatic, because if Stanton is the DH, it likely would mean Edwin Encarnacion going to the bench. Playing Encarnacion at first is a possibility, but that would mean DJ LeMahieu going to third and Gio Urshela going to the bench.
“That’s the next question, because if you do, what’s the move?” Boone said. “That’s a tough one because the other thing if you’re going into that [DH] spot, you’re not replacing a guy that’s not a very good player. So whether you take [out] a Gio or an Edwin, I mean, a guy that holds a lot of value with us, so I want to feel like he’s [Stanton] good to go. He’s not going to be all the way 100 percent, obviously. We’re not going to get there, but him going in is replacing a really good player for us, so I want to feel good about it.”