The long-awaited return of Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees roster is becoming clearer.
After completing another pregame practice on Friday, Stanton was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A Somerset in Bowie, Maryland.
According to manager Aaron Boone, the plan was for Stanton to serve as the designated hitter Saturday and Sunday, then return to the Bronx to face Luis Severino in a live batting practice Tuesday.
That would keep Stanton, who has been out since July 24 with Achilles tendonitis, out of action for the Subway Series on Monday and Tuesday.
But if he continues to respond well to the increased workload, Stanton could be in line to join the Yankees on Thursday, when they begin a 10-game road trip to Oakland.
When Stanton returns to the roster, which has largely lacked punch without him, he will initially be used strictly as a DH
“So keep pushing him forward in his pre-game work and things like that to get to a point where he would be an outfield option for us,” Boone said.
Aroldis Chapman walked consecutive batters on nine pitches for the second time in three games Friday night in the Yankees’ 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays.
Those ninth-inning walks loaded the bases with one out, though Ron Marinaccio cleaned up the mess by limiting the damage to a sacrifice fly.
Chapman had appeared to turn a corner before his last two outings.
“Chappy struggled tonight,” Boone said. “It was difficult tonight. We have to deal with it with him to put him back on the right track.
Severino will kick off another bullpen session on Saturday ahead of his live session on Tuesday, his first time facing batters since hitting the injured list with a low-grade strain.
Although Severino is not eligible to be activated out of the IL 60 days until September 12, he is encouraged by how he felt during his bullpen sessions and said he thought he could get the batters out of the big league right now.
“I don’t feel like I’m coming out of a major injury,” he said. “My arm feels pretty good.”
Oswaldo Cabrera played his third different position in his third MLB game on Friday, starting in right field, a position he added to his repertoire earlier this year.
He played third base and shortstop in his first two games with the Yankees after being called up Wednesday.
“I think one of his strengths as a player is just his maturity and his clock and the way he does it,” Boone said. “He’s becoming a very good player and I think he’s going to be a good player in this league for a long time.
“But the intangible things are really special with him.”
Clarke Schmidt helped the Yankees out of the bullpen earlier this year, but he is currently continuing to develop as the Yankees’ best starting throwing depth (which is thin) at Triple-A.
“Whenever that need arises [in the bullpen], it’s still potentially in play,” Boone said. “But getting those starts and having that option there is important. But obviously we know he can impact us in the bullpen. So we’ll keep talking about that, exploring that, seeing what makes the most sense to us going forward.
Albert Abreu has struggled lately in the Yankees bullpen — with a 5.91 ERA over his last 10 ²/₃ innings — but he’s out of minor league options.
“I think it comes down to his lead command and throwing strikes early and capitalizing on them,” pitching coach Matt Blake said.
New York Post