Yankees manager Aaron Boone hopes Giancarlo Stanton returns from his stint on the injured list for ankle inflammation by this weekend. When he does, Boone intends to use Stanton in the outfield in the same manner as he has been all season — despite the injury.
“I view him similar to how we’ve used him through the season,’’ Boone said before the Yankees were rained out Wednesday against the Angels in The Bronx. “I’ve already talked about that with him and I think we’re on the same page.”
Boone added Stanton would still get “a lot of DH days.”
But Stanton has played better since going back to being more of a two-way player last season.
Still, the Yankees are trying to keep the slugger healthy, and playing the outfield could put that in jeopardy.
With Stanton still out (he’s eligible to come off the IL on Saturday), Joey Gallo was to start in right field, with the struggling Aaron Hicks back in center, Miguel Andujar in left and Aaron Judge serving as the DH.
Gallo expressed a comfort level in right after playing there Tuesday for the first time this season and making two standout plays. Gallo has been woeful at the plate for much of his time in The Bronx, but he reached base three times Tuesday.
Boone said he would keep that in mind when Stanton returns, but also noted that he values Gallo in the more spacious left field of Yankee Stadium.
Hicks, meanwhile, was set to be back in the lineup for just the second time in six games against lefty Reid Detmers.
The switch-hitting Hicks has been better from the right side.
“There’s always that challenge with switch hitters,’’ Boone said of getting both sides clicking at the same time. “We want him to start building quality at-bats and get that confidence going.”
In 21 games since May 4, Hicks has gone just 7-for-60 with a double, two RBIs, nine walks and 19 strikeouts.
Josh Donaldson also could return to the lineup soon. He said the cortisone shot in his right shoulder was effective. Donaldson, who has been bothered by the shoulder since spring training, had the injection while on the COVID-19 IL, knowing he would be out for at least a few games.
Yankees starting pitchers have pitched at least six innings in a season-high five straight games, their longest such streak since 2018.
It’s especially well-timed, since their bullpen is shorthanded, thanks to injuries to Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loaisiga, as well as the season-ending loss of Chad Green.
Boone attributed the recent run of length from the starters to how effective they’ve been and the fact they’re missing some key arms in the pen.
“That comes into play,’’ Boone said of the status of the pen. “We’ve had good fortune, since we’ve had guys go down in the pen, but it becomes a moot point because guys have pitched well enough to allow for it to happen.”