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Stanton looks to make impact amid 'brutal' year

Injured slugger eyes September, praises club's ability to pull together
@BryanHoch
August 15, 2019

NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton said it has been "brutal" to lose most of his second season with the Yankees to injuries, but the outfielder remains confident that he will return to the field in time to make an impact in September and October. "It's been really good to see

NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton said it has been "brutal" to lose most of his second season with the Yankees to injuries, but the outfielder remains confident that he will return to the field in time to make an impact in September and October.

"It's been really good to see the team playing so well," Stanton said on Thursday. "That's what's kept it not so bad for me, is to watch everyone bring together wins all different ways. There's no one hero every night. That's what I've been focusing on, not 'poor me' or all that stuff."

After leading the Yankees with 38 homers and 100 RBIs last season, Stanton has played in only nine games this year, having been sidelined by a left biceps strain, a left shoulder strain, a left calf strain and -- most recently -- a strain of his right posterior cruciate ligament from June 25 against the Blue Jays.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone both said they continue to believe that Stanton will return to the lineup next month.

"That's our hope," Cashman said. "We've done a lot of great things despite missing some very talented players, and he's included in that. That's an impact bat. He's not just the DH, he's much more than that. He's an athletic outfielder too, despite his size.

"Hopefully we'll be in a position to utilize him. We do expect him at some point, but he's also coming back from a pretty serious injury that takes time to heal. We'll just keep waiting on it and hope that at some point he becomes a legitimate option for us."

Stanton has been hitting in tee-and-toss drills and throwing, and Boone estimated that Stanton is running at about 85 percent effort on an anti-gravity treadmill. Stanton's next objective is to be cleared for on-field activity, such as running on grass.

"You just seem so far away from the game and where I usually am in the year," Stanton said. "So I'm definitely happy to be hitting and moving around."

As for game action, Stanton said he hopes to have "a few weeks of at-bats before October," indicating that those could come in Minor League games or simulated settings.

"The deadline is when my knee is ready to play Major League games," Stanton said. "I can always get non-big-league at-bats, but [at a skill level] close to big league pitching to catch me up."

Sevy season
Luis Severino's long wait appears to be nearing its end. The right-hander threw 29 pitches from the bullpen mound at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, and he has been cleared to face hitters under simulated conditions on Sunday.

After that, Severino said he will travel to the team's complex in Tampa, Fla., where he could have one more simulated outing before beginning a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Tampa.

"It's very exciting," Severino said. "I feel good and happy that my velocity is going to be there when I come back. ... I let go a couple to see how my arm feels. It feels very good."

Severino said he threw his fastball, slider and changeup in the bullpen and estimated that his stamina should be built to throw at least 60 pitches when he returns to the big leagues, which would give the Yankees the option of utilizing him as a starter or reliever.

"We're certainly hopeful," Cashman said. "We'd like to get him, along with some of those other high-end players, back to join the party so we can get as close to full throttle as we can. He's slowly but surely getting back in the mix. Hopefully we'll be able to deploy him at some point."

October thoughts
The Yankees have yet to discuss how they plan to ease Domingo Germán's workload over the final weeks of the regular season, though Boone has suggested they could skip a start or pull him from outings sooner.

Cashman would not detail the innings limit on German, which is believed to be in the area of 140 to 150 innings -- the right-hander has thrown 120 this year, 116 of which came at the big league level. Cashman clarified that no matter what they do, German will be all systems go for the postseason.

"There's no innings limits when you're in October," Cashman said. "All safeties are off. We went through that in the past on Severino. When you're in the postseason, that's not something you're focused on."

Enter Sandman
The Yankees are holding a Mariano Rivera Hall of Fame celebration prior to Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Indians. Yankee Stadium gates will open 30 minutes earlier than usual, at 11 a.m., with the Rivera ceremony scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

This date in Yankees history
Aug. 15, 1955: Mickey Mantle homered from both sides of the plate for the second time in his career as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 12-6, in the second game of a doubleheader sweep.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.