The reeling Yankees could get two vital bats back in their lineup by next weekend, with Aaron Boone saying both Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) and Aaron Judge (calf) could be getting at-bats at the team’s alternate site in Scranton in the next few days.
If that happens, Boone said “there’s a good chance” the pair could be back with the team by next weekend, with about a week to go in the regular season.
But there’s a real sense they might not get James Paxton back from his flexor strain.
Judge missed two weeks last month with a calf strain and aggravated the injury in his first game back on Aug. 26. Stanton has been out since Aug. 8.
“They’re finishing up their final progressions,’’ Boone said before Friday’s doubleheader against Baltimore in The Bronx.
“If everything goes well, potentially this weekend they’ll be getting some at-bats in Scranton and then getting with us shortly after that.
Asked if the two were healthy, Boone said: “I would say [they are] pretty healthy.”
The Yankees were burned by what general manager Brian Cashman called a “failed rehab” when Judgè returned and was unable to last a full game before being forced back on to the injured list. Another setback would almost certainly rule out a return for Judge.
“They’ve got to pass some protocols to get to a point where you’re ready to go into a major league game and the rigors that go with that,’’ Boone said. “I would say they’re very close. They’re both feeling well; they’re both doing well. Hopefully we’re in the final days here before they’re getting some at-bats and playing and back with us.”
The news is not as promising on Paxton, on the IL with a strained forearm flexor.
The left-hander reported some soreness after playing catch Wednesday and Boone acknowledged time is running out to get him back and in the rotation. He didn’t rule out the possibility of using Paxton out of the bullpen.
“It’ll be challenging,’’ Boone said of getting Paxton back. “I still think on some level you could, but we’ll just have to see how the next couple of days unfold.”
Asked about Paxton potentially being used as a reliever, Boone said: “We may have no other option… It’s obviously gonna be difficult at this point, having not gone on the mound, to build him up to a starter’s level. So we’ll see where the next couple days go and see if he’s able to build up to any kind of option for us. That may be in a smaller role than as a starter.”