Prior to Friday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox, manager Aaron Boone was asked if Aaron Judge -- who was placed on the IL this week with a toe sprain -- will accelerate the team’s plans to get Stanton in the outfield, the skipper said it wouldn’t.
“It will not accelerate it,” he said. “G is gonna work his way out there through pregame [workouts] and build it on his timing and we’ll keep true to that.”
When asked if they had a timeline for when they believe they can get him to play the outfield, Boone said they had none and will take a wait-and-see approach.
“Even before he came back, he was doing outfield work and stuff like that so we want to continue to do that,” Boone explained. “Obviously you're playing games now so it's a little trickier, but want to make sure that he is doing that.
“He's good at kind of letting us know when he feels like [playing the outfield] is in play. And I certainly want him in play but I also don't want to rush it.”
Stanton missed weeks due to a hamstring injury he suffered on April 15, and returned to the team last weekend in Los Angeles.
Since his return, Stanton is 2-for-14 with one home run. In his five starts since his return, including Friday, he’s been exclusively a designated hitter, but both Boone and Stanton know the importance of him playing the field.
"Being in the outfield, you're kind of more engaged in the game; whereas, DH, you're inside a lot of the time, staying warm and hitting, and kind of watching the game from the TV as opposed to being out more engaged," Stanton told reporters back in February.
Stanton played five games in the outfield this season before going down with the injury and 38 games last season in his injury-plagued 2022.
With Harrison Bader on the IL and Greg Allen now missing 6-8 weeks with a hip flexor, the Yankees could use Stanton in the outfield to open up the DH spot for some of their infielders. The rash of injuries has turned the Yankees outfield to a combination of Jake Bauers, BIlly McKinney, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Willie Calhoun and Oswaldo Cabrera.