The Yankees have gone 79 days without Giancarlo Stanton in their lineup. That unfortunate streak stops today, however, as the team has activated the slugger from the injured list. As a corresponding move, the club optioned outfielder Mike Tauchman to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Stanton, 29, appeared in only three games this season before landing on the injured list with a strained left biceps. That injury set off a chain reaction of setbacks and delays, including a mysterious shoulder ailment that the Yankees never elaborated on, a hit-by-pitch, and a calf strain. His road to returning to the big leagues included a false-start rehab assignment and a number of vague comments by Aaron Boone. Nonetheless, he’s now healthy and ready to contribute.
In the early goings of 2019, Stanton went 2-for-8 with seven walks. That small sample doesn’t say much about his level of play. He did, however, hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs in his first season with the Yankees. Stanton drew the ire of same fans, but his 127 wRC+ situated him as a decidedly productive bat.
The Yankees also appear ready to play Stanton in left field on a regular basis. “When we acquired G, it wasn’t to be a DH,” Brian Cashman told reporters yesterday. He grades out as a solid outfielder, posting a 22.3 UZR/150 and four DRS across 344 innings in left field.
As for Tauchman, he will head back to the RailRiders after three games in the Bronx. He went 1-for-9 during his latest stint, walking once and striking out three times. The 28-year-old has managed an 82 wRC+ over 37 big-league games this season.
With Stanton back, the Yankees now have one of the more fearsome lineups in all of baseball. That reputation will only grow later this week when Aaron Judge makes his return.