For the first time since June 25, Giancarlo Stanton is in the Yankees’ lineup. He will bat fifth and play left field. The team officially activated the outfielder earlier this afternoon after a few days of rumors. As a corresponding move, the club placed Dellin Betances on the 60-day injured list with a partially torn Achilles tendon.
Stanton, 29, has appeared in just nine games in 2019. He’s gone 9-for-38 with seven walks and a home run, compared to 13 strikeouts. The slugger suffered a veritable laundry list of injuries, including a biceps strain, shoulder ailment, hit-by-pitch during a rehab assignment, calf strain, and PCL strain.
In 2018, however, Stanton stood out as arguably the Yankees’ most consistent batter. He hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs (129 wRC+). At his best, Stanton represents a force at the plate, someone who could carry the team for stretches at a time.
Interestingly enough, Stanton returns exactly one year after Aaron Judge rejoined the lineup following a fractured wrist. It took Judge the rest of the regular season to shake off the rust, so don’t be surprised if something similar plays out with Stanton. The important thing here is that he will get his share of at-bats before the postseason.
The Yankees have performed well in Stanton’s absence—they can clinch the AL East with a win tonight—but they’re undoubtedly a better team with him in the lineup. It will be exciting to see him step up to the plate tonight. Hopefully his first game back will end in a celebration!