Giancarlo Stanton was on his way from Tampa, Florida, to the Bronx on Tuesday and could return to the Yankees’ lineup on Wednesday or Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said.
Stanton, who has been out since June 26 with a knee injury and has played in just nine games this season, finished a breakneck-paced rehab assignment in which he got multiple at-bats at the team’s minor-league complex.
Boone said his initial plan is to play Stanton in the outfield, but not for a full game. The 2017 NL MVP is trying to work himself into game shape before the Yankees begin the postseason.
“I may build him up a little bit,” Boone said. “I may play him a handful of innings, things like that, especially with the rosters being what you have here in the month of September. He’s been getting after it, really, for a good while now. He’s racked up a lot of at-bats. He’s done all his defensive work. He’s really been bouncing back well the next day, feeling like his knee is where it needs to be. He’s been doing his baserunning and all his agility and his conditioning and I think the amount of at-bats he’s been able to rack up has him feeling good about that.”
Of the other injured Yankees position players, Boone said he’s still holding out hope Edwin Encarnacion (oblique strain) and Gary Sanchez (groin strain) can make it back before the end of the regular season.
Aaron Hicks (right flexor strain) has begun a throwing program in Tampa, Boone said. Of the three, Hicks is the least likely to be ready for the playoffs, but he could become a factor if the Yankees go deep into October.
“Hopefully,” Boone said, “we can get them all back in some shape or form.”
CC Sabathia will make his final regular-season start at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday . . . J.A. Happ said he’s good to go for his start on Thursday after getting treatment for a left biceps injury . . . Infielder Breyvic Valera, who appeared in 12 games for the Yankees, was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Luis Severino.