As the Yankees left for London, Giancarlo Stanton was off to a familiar place.
Just six games after Stanton returned from a variety of injuries that sidelined him for 11 weeks, the Yankees slugger was placed on the injured list with a PCL strain in his right knee, which he suffered Tuesday night. Though Stanton arrived to Yankee Stadium with stiffness in the joint Wednesday morning, manager Aaron Boone was confident — following an MRI — the injury wouldn’t prohibit the outfielder from traveling to London, or keep him off the field very long.
Then, following an examination by team physician Christopher Ahmad, Boone learned he would be without the 29-year-old for longer than the injured list’s minimum 10-day stay.
“I think it’ll be more than that, but that’s when the re-evaluation happens,” Boone said after the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 8-7. “He’s going on the IL, so I didn’t necessarily anticipate that. I think it kind of explains the pain he was in when he came in, so [I’m] frustrated for him, knowing how much he’s worked to get back, and the couple of setbacks he’s had along the way getting back. I felt like he was starting to get into a groove a little bit with us, so we gotta deal with it and hopefully get him right here at some point to get back.”
The second-highest paid player in baseball has barely seen the field in his second season with the Yankees, appearing in just nine games. After missing most of the year with multiple injuries — a torn left biceps, a strained left shoulder and a left calf strain — Stanton left Tuesday’s win in the fourth inning following a headfirst slide into third base.
“This is a great player, important to our club,” Boone said. “Obviously when he’s going well, he’s one of those rare guys that can impact the game in a profound way and carry a club when he’s rolling hot.”
Thus far, the Yankees offense hasn’t noticed the absence of the former MVP, closing out a 9-1 homestand by extending their major league record to 29 straight games with a home run.
Stanton, who hit his first homer of the season Monday, is batting .290, with a .421 on-base percentage. Prior to the season, Stanton had played at least 158 games the past two years.
“It’s tough,” teammate Aaron Judge said. “But he’s a competitor, he’s tough, he’s a bulldog, and he’s gonna be ready for us down the stretch.”