New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is more likely to return in August than July after straining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Stanton went on the 10-day injured list Wednesday, a day after he was hurt during an awkward headfirst slide into third base against Toronto. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would project only a possible range of time for his return.
“I would say it’s safer to look into August,” Cashman said Thursday during a baseball development initiative by the Yankees in north London’s Finchley Park. “I don’t want to say it’s unlikely in July, but the sweet spot would be August in terms of not getting burnt.”
Stanton strained his left biceps on March 31 in his third game, strained a shoulder and calf during his rehabilitation and returned June 18. He is hitting .290 with one home run and seven RBIs in nine games.
Mike Tauchman was called up to replace Stanton on the roster rather than Clint Frazier because Tauchman is a better defensive outfielder.
“This ballpark has a lot of foul territory,” Cashman said. “The corners would be best served with having somebody that can really go get the ball and go a long way.”
Cashman said Frazier was not being penalized for taking the maximum allowed three days to report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he was optioned on June 16.
“His send-down was tougher than most because of how good he performed here and how much he helped this club,” Cashman said. “If he needed the extra time to process being the odd man out, I was OK with that personally. It had nothing to do with him not being selected coming here.”
Despite New York’s 52-28 record and AL East lead, owner Hal Steinbrenner repeated his concern over the team’s starting rotation. The Yankees started the season with a luxury tax payroll of about $226 million and have raised it to over $230 million with moves such as the acquisition of slugging outfielder Edwin Encarnación. If New York exceeds $246 million, it would encounter a steeper tax and its top draft pick in 2020 would be dropped 10 spots.
Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer and Zack Wheeler are among the starting pitchers who could be available ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
“We’ve got a very big cushion right now and I’m just not concerned about it, given the pitchers that are out there that we think we might have a chance at getting,” Steinbrenner said. “More importantly to me is what we would have to give up.”
NOTES: RHP Domingo Germán (left hip flexor strain) pitched four innings with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday night in a rehab start, allowing four runs, four hits and two walks. He struck out five.