Encarnacion's return to Yanks is 'imminent'

August 31st, 2019

NEW YORK -- After spending almost a month on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist fracture, it appears that may soon be returning to the Yankees’ lineup.

Before Saturday’s game, manager Aaron Boone announced that Encarnacion will likely begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday. He estimated that Encarnacion will spend a couple of days there before rejoining the big league club, even suggesting that there’s a chance the 36-year-old could be back at some point during the current Yankees homestand, which ends on Wednesday vs. the Rangers.

“He’s doing well, looked good yesterday,” Boone said. “… He’s such a presence in that lineup. Even on the at-bats or the days he’s not getting hits, you can feel his at-bats. You know the pitcher and the opposing team can feel his at-bats. So he’s a guy we’re certainly excited to get back into the mix, just to add that length to our lineup that allows us to be more consistent on a nightly basis.”

Encarnacion spent Saturday taking batting practice and running the bases with outfielder , who wore a brace on his right knee as he continues to recover from a PCL strain. Boone noted that whenever Stanton does return, the brace is likely to stay.

“For this year, he’ll wear that,” Boone said. “It’s something that he’s comfortable with. That’s my understanding.”

Before going on the IL, Encarnacion had been hitting .238 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 36 games since the Yankees acquired him from the Mariners on June 15. While Boone called the slugger’s return “imminent,” he added that the timeline will be longer for Stanton and outfielder , who has been on the 10-day IL since Aug. 4 with a flexor strain in his right arm.

“It’s still more about getting them right and ready and hopefully back at some point,” Boone said.

While the Yankees have notably managed to fill in the gaps in their lineup, as the calendar turns to September, Boone is looking forward to having all three hitters back in the fold.

“When we’re talking about impact guys that are on the horizon potentially coming back, there’s no question that they help us and make us just that much more dangerous every day, against not only regular pitching but even elite pitching,” Boone said. “When you have a long lineup that a pitcher has to go through -- that we’ve seen at different times throughout this season -- I feel like that’s when we’ve been at our best, when we’re just able to wear you down over time.”

Mike Mussina Day
2019 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Mike Mussina will be recognized before Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. ET game vs. the Athletics. All gates at Yankee Stadium will open at 11:00 a.m. for fans to attend the pregame celebration.

The first 18,000 guests in attendance will receive a special Mike Mussina T-shirt courtesy of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.

This date in Yankees history
Aug. 31, 1997: In a pregame ceremony, the Yankees dedicate a plaque in honor of former All-Star first baseman Don Mattingly. The Yankees go on to defeat Montreal, 3-2.