NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is expected to begin a rehab assignment Saturday and could rejoin the AL East leaders in the middle of next week as their designated hitter.
Stanton, who hasn’t played since July 23 due to left Achilles tendinitis, worked out again at Yankee Stadium prior to Friday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Manager Aaron Boone said Stanton was then slated to head to Bowie, Maryland, to serve as the DH in rehab games for Double-A Somerset on Saturday and Sunday.
“First things first, want to get him in that DH spot and just get him back in,” Boone said.
Stuck in an offensive slump, the Yankees had lost 13 of 17 going into the weekend.
Stanton will return to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday to oppose Luis Severino (right lat strain) in a live batting practice session. Boone said Stanton could be activated immediately thereafter and eased back into action as the DH.
The Yankees followed a similar plan with Stanton last year, when he missed two weeks in May with a left quad strain. Stanton played exclusively as the designated hitter in his first 45 starts following his activation before starting in left or right field 26 times in the final 58 games of the regular season.
“We’ll kind of — like we did last year, where we built on the run — (add) the outfield reps and hopefully make that a part at some point, but not immediately,” Boone said.
Stanton is hitting .228 with 24 homers and 61 RBIs this season. He has almost evenly split his time between the outfield and designated hitter, making 38 starts between left field and right field and 37 starts as the DH.