Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, Tommy Kahnle all nearing returns
SEATTLE — Aaron Boone is saying “there’s a chance.”
That was the manager’s response when asked if Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Kahnle could all return when the Yankees begin a three-game series with the Dodgers on Friday. “We’ll see,” Boone added.
Donaldson and Kahnle were already expected to return for the series, but MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reported that Stanton was flying with the two to Los Angeles.
“They’ve all been doing pretty well here for a while and been able to do a lot of physical work to get themselves prepared,” Boone said. Stanton and Donaldson have been out since April 15 and April 5, respectively, following hamstring injuries, while bicep tendinitis derailed Kahnle’s spring training and the start of his latest stint with the Yankees.
Donaldson and Kahnle have played in multiple rehab games, but Stanton has only played in one, an 0-for-3 appearance at Double-A Somerset on Tuesday. Boone didn’t have an issue with the brief rehab assignment, though.
“There’s so many tools we have now that you can replicate better than ever at-bats and things like that,” the skipper said, adding that Stanton has been able to ramp up his running and outfield work in recent weeks. “The hitting side of things, what they’re able to do behind the scenes to kind of probably speed up that curve, has grown exponentially, even over the last couple of years. So no, I’m not too worried about that.”
While Stanton has been working in the outfield, Boone added that he’ll DH the slugger for “the first couple of weeks” once he’s back. Stanton will continue to build up defensively during his pregame work.
Three activations mean a roster crunch is coming for the Yankees. Franchy Cordero makes sense as a corresponding move for Stanton, while optioning Matt Krook for Kahnle would be the move if the Yankees don’t want to lose a pitcher on their 40-man roster.
Demoting Oswaldo Cabrera, meanwhile, is a possibility with Donaldson coming back. The 24-year-old energized the Yankees when he debuted last year, but he has options and hasn’t hit this season. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has lately while offering similar versatility.
Cabrera was slashing just .195/.246/.292 with three homers and 15 RBI entering Wednesday’s game against the Mariners, and he was 3-for-36 (.111) over his last 40 plate appearances.
“It’s a tough league,” Boone said of Cabrera on Tuesday. “Part of surviving and ultimately thriving here is to be able to deal with the successes and failures and be able to make adjustments as the league constantly is making adjustments to you. And those are the separators. So he has a great head on his shoulders, and he’s a really good player. So we’ll just continue to work with him and try and make those adjustments.”
The Pinstripe Express
The Daily News sports editors handpick the week’s best Yankees stories from our award-winning columnists and beat writers. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.
Harrison Bader, who hit the injured list on Tuesday with a low-grade hamstring strain, stretched on the field at T-Mobile Park on Wednesday.
Bader exited Monday’s game after legging out an infield single in the third inning. He ran hard to first base but said the impact of hitting the base “grabbed” at his hammy.
“I can’t play at the speed at which I know I can help this team,” Bader said Wednesday, adding that it was “frustrating” for him to be on the shelf again. He began the season on the IL due to an oblique injury suffered in spring training.
Boone said that he expects the center fielder to miss “a couple weeks” on Tuesday. Bader, meanwhile, wasn’t ready to think about when he’ll be able to return.
“I’m just going day by day,” he said. “I’ll be ready soon. I don’t have a timetable.”
Carlos Rodon said his next bullpen is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles. Rodon threw a 20-pitch bullpen on Monday.
Anthony Rizzo, meanwhile, continues to progress after a Sunday collision with the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. left the first baseman with a stiff neck. Rizzo remained out of the Yankees’ lineup on Wednesday, but Boone said he was an option off the bench and expected him to play Friday.