Is Stanton close? Slugger joins Tampa for rehab

May 20th, 2019

is starting a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Tampa, so the slugger's return to the Yankees could be on the horizon.

Stanton, who's been out since the end of March with a left biceps strain (which has healed) and a left shoulder strain, was added to the Tarpons' roster on Monday. Tampa plays Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Stanton was already rehabbing in Tampa at the Yankees' Player Development complex, hitting off live pitching and doing defensive drills.

Stanton's return would of course be a huge boost to a Yankees lineup that's been hit by a rash of injuries this season, especially with Aaron Judge still out for the foreseeable future with his left oblique strain. The 29-year-old hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs and 100 RBIs in his first season with the Yankees last year.

If all goes well with Stanton's rehab, he could be the second key member of the Yankees' outfield to return from injury, after New York got center fielder Aaron Hicks back last week.