Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton expected back soon, but Yankees face new injury concerns

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s “Death Star” may never be fully operational this season.

Still, it’s getting closer.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters in Detroit that righty Luis Severino is expected to make his first start of the season on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium, while outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could also return to the lineup that day.

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Severino has been out all year due to rotator cuff inflammation and then a setback due to a Grade 2 lat strain, while Stanton has played in just nine games in 2019 due to injuries to his biceps, shoulder, calf and knee.

Reliever Dellin Betances (shoulder, lat), also yet to pitch this season, will make another minor-league rehab appearance with Double-A Trenton on Friday before the Yankees determine whether he’s ready to return.

That’s the good news. The bad news is three more Yankees are now dealing with injury concerns.

Edwin Encarnacion strained his oblique and will return back to New York for tests. The rest of his season could now be in doubt. Left-hander JA Happ is also headed back to New York with left biceps tendinitis. Catcher Gary Sanchez, who missed 16 games with a groin strain about a month ago, is dealing with another groin issue.

Despite a record-setting, injury-plagued season, the Yankees came into Thursday a half-game ahead of the Houston Astros for baseball’s best record at 95-51. They lead the majors in runs (848) and rank second in homers (276).

The team has had several under-the-radar players step into prominent roles as a result of all the injuries, including Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman (now out for the season himself due to a calf strain) and Domingo German. But they could certain use both Severino and Stanton.

The Yankees are currently trying to get their roster ready for the postseason, and have some decisions to make. Severino, who just had three minor-league rehab starts, should slot into the rotation behind emerging ace James Paxton and postseason stalwart Masahiro Tanaka.

Domingo German is piggybacking CC Sabathia on Thursday in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Tigers. German could pitch in relief in the playoffs. J.A. Happ would be another option if he’s able to bounce back from his ailment.

Stanton is needed in what was once a deep outfield given the injuries to both Tauchman and Aaron Hicks, whose season is also in jeopardy due to a shoulder injury. The depth chart also includes Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Cameron Maybin and Tyler Wade.

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