CHICAGO — Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees slugger who has been sidelined by a series of injuries, could be back next week, Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday, and his teammate Aaron Judge is getting closer to returning from a strained left oblique.
Stanton’s minor league rehab assignment will take him to Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for its weekend series at Durham. He homered twice for Class A Tampa on Wednesday night.
If Stanton, 29, gets through this weekend with no problems, Boone said he could be activated before Tuesday’s game at home against Tampa Bay. Stanton hasn’t played for the Yankees since March 31 because of biceps, shoulder and calf injuries.
“He’s feeling really well,” Boone said before Thursday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox. “I spoke to him about an hour ago, but even the conversations I’ve had with him in the last few days leading up this where I can tell he’s just physically in a really good place.”
Judge hasn’t played for the Yankees since April 20. But he hit during simulated games at the club’s minor league complex in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, going deep each day.
“It’s been feeling good the past two days in my at-bats,” Judge said. “Game ready. Just excited to hopefully get a chance to play in some games here soon and get back to New York. The big test was getting these at-bats.”
Judge could join Stanton at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this weekend. Boone said Judge probably would need a slightly longer stint with the Class AAA club.
While Judge and Stanton are moving in the right direction, the team has placed Kendrys Morales on the 10-day injured list because of a left calf strain.
Morales was the 20th player to go on the I.L. this year for the Yankees, matching their total for the entire 2018 season. Morales felt some tightness in his calf after collecting three hits in the Yankees’ 12-5 victory over the Mets on Tuesday.
“The doctor looked at him, they thought it was best to go get an M.R.I. of it,” Boone said. “It did show a small strain in there.” He added, “I don’t think it’s real serious, but it was enough in there to prompt us to make a move.”
Outfielder Mike Tauchman and left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. were called up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees had an open roster spot after the left-hander Stephen Tarpley was sent down Wednesday.
The Yankees have also traded utility man Brad Miller to Philadelphia for cash. Miller, who hit 30 homers for Tampa Bay in 2016, agreed to a minor-league contract with New York on April 22.
Boone mentioned Cortes as a possibility for Saturday night’s start against Chicago. The Yankees also could go with an opener.
Morales, who turns 36 next Thursday, was acquired in a May 15 trade with Oakland. He is batting .177 with a homer and five runs batted in over 19 games as a Yankee.
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