As Offense Struggles, Yankees are Slow to Bring Back Two Major Bats

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In the middle of a rough stretch offensively and overall, the Yankees started the week with another lineup missing two of their top hitters. There is no guarantee that either player’s injury will be fully healed in the near future.

Giancarlo Stanton missed his 20th straight game with Achilles tendinitis. DJ LeMahieu missed his second straight game with big toe inflammation. After being placed on the injured list, Stanton participated in a full pregame workout on Monday. Before starting a rehab assignment, he said he needed one or two more days of that.

In the meantime, the Yankees got back home and lost to the Rays by a score of 4-0 on Monday. This was the first game of a very important nine-game homestand against the Rays, Blue Jays, and Mets.

The Yankees seem to be doing the same thing with LeMahieu. Before he missed Sunday’s loss to the Red Sox because of a sore right big toe, the infielder hadn’t hit in 18 games. Even though Monday’s tests didn’t show anything worse than inflammation, he is still waiting to see if a combination of treatment and orthotics can make him feel better.

When he is healthy, LeMahieu is a key part of the Yankees’ lineup. But until then, the Yankees will have to play with only three people on their bench.

When asked if the team would put LeMahieu on the injured list to give him time to heal and make room for a healthy position player, Boone said, “We’ll talk about that every day.”

Stanton, who hasn’t played since July 23, said that the last few days of warmup have gone well, but that he’s still getting his feet back under him. On Monday, he watched Frankie Montas and Domingo German’s bullpen sessions to help him get his timing back. The Yankees are gradually increasing his workload to test his mettle, so he’s been taking ground balls in right field and swinging in the batting cage.

Initially, Stanton’s injury was thought to be relatively minor, but it will almost certainly sideline him for at least a month, even if he starts rehab this week. He may have to monitor it the rest of the season.

Stanton’s return timeline isn’t affected by whether he returns as a DH or a part-time outfielder, as he was before the injury.

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