CHICAGO — Barring another setback, the Yankees are looking at Tuesday as the day Giancarlo Stanton jumps off the injured list and back into their lineup.
That is the second game of a three-game home series against the AL East rival Rays. That series kicks off a 10-game homestand that continues with four against the Astros and finishes with three against the Blue Jays before the trip to London for two games versus the Red Sox.
According to Aaron Boone, somewhere during the homestand Aaron Judge could join Stanton — even though until Friday night Judge hadn’t played in any type of game since April 20, when he left early against the Royals at the Stadium with a strained left oblique.
Stanton and Judge were in the lineup for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night at Durham, N.C., which puts them one step away from adding their muscle to a Yankees team that has lost eight of 12 games following Friday’s 10-2 loss to the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Judge was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as the DH while Stanton was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer that hit a build deep in left field in a 16-3 loss to the Durham Bulls.
“It does, obviously it is getting closer to that. We feel they are at a point where they are doing well,’’ Boone said when asked if the sluggers’ progressions have made the feeling a little bit more real. “Obviously they have to get through these final steps and hurdles and rack up some time here. Starting to plan and get excited for them. Hopefully they join us at some point in the homestand.’’
Though the Yankees have targeted Tuesday for Stanton’s return, they are waiting to see how Judge reacts to game action after almost seven weeks away.
The plan is for Judge to DH on Saturday and play right field on Sunday for SWB.
“We want him to get back-to-back games where he is on defense,’’ Boone said of Judge, who was hitting .288 with five homers, 11 RBIs and a .925 OPS when shelved. “It’s more about building up the baseball shape sort of thing. Obviously, Giancarlo is further along than where Aaron is at right now.’’
Chad Green will make his fifth start of the season on Saturday after not being used in Friday night’s loss.
In games Green has started for the Yankees, they are 4-0. In the following games, however, when other relievers are not available because of too many innings or high pitch counts from the Green-started outings, the Yankees are 2-3.
That includes the doubleheader split against the Mets on Tuesday after Green had started Sunday in Cleveland.
Luke Voit’s first-inning homer stretched the Yankees’ streak of hitting at least one to 17 straight games. That is the second-longest streak in franchise history. The last time was May 22 to June 8, 1961.
With James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka having worked the doubleheader against the Mets this past Tuesday, Sunday would be their regular turn to start. There is only one game Sunday, however, and Paxton will start against the White Sox in the finale of a four-game series. Tanaka will face the Rays on Monday at Yankee Stadium in the first of three games.
Asked if Tanaka throwing 101 pitches in the first game of the twin bill and Paxton 63 figured into the decision, Boone said it played a part.
“That was a little bit of a factor,’’ Boone said. “With Masa being over a 100 [pitches], he could benefit from the extra day.’’
Jordan Montgomery threw batting practice in Tampa on Friday and Boone was asked if the lefty, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, could return to the big leagues in August.
“It’s possible, but I don’t want to put an exact timetable — but he is moving in a good direction,’’ Boone said.
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