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Without Stanton, Yanks to get creative at DH

@BryanHoch
August 9, 2020

The Yankees plan to “get a little creative” with their designated hitter spot while Giancarlo Stanton mends a strained left hamstring on the injured list, manager Aaron Boone said on Sunday. Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL on Sunday, having sustained the injury while running the bases in a

The Yankees plan to “get a little creative” with their designated hitter spot while Giancarlo Stanton mends a strained left hamstring on the injured list, manager Aaron Boone said on Sunday.

Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL on Sunday, having sustained the injury while running the bases in a 5-3 loss to the Rays during Saturday’s second game of a doubleheader at Tropicana Field.

Infielder Thairo Estrada, who is traveling with the club as a member of the taxi squad, was recalled to replace Stanton on the roster. Boone indicated that the club plans to consider making more changes to the roster during Monday’s off-day.

“We'll kind of re-evaluate the situation after [Sunday] and then [Monday],” Boone said.

Mike Ford got the start at DH on Sunday, marking his first turn in the slot this year. Aaron Judge, who entered play leading the Majors with eight homers, has also seen one game as the DH.

Miguel Andújar and Clint Frazier, both of whom are currently at the Yankees’ alternate training site, are among those who will be considered for promotion on Monday. Andújar and Frazier were both on the Opening Day roster; Andújar logged one hit in 14 at-bats before being sent down, while Frazier did not appear in a game.

Stanton was productive in his 14 games at DH, batting .293/.453/.585 with three doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs. Stanton was also slowed during Spring Training due to a right calf strain.

“We’ll continue to try and help him avoid these situations moving forward,” Boone said. “That’s going to be a process. I feel like he can get there. … There's no doubt that I feel like physically, he's in a much better place [than in 2019].”

Hot and cold

More times than not, Aaron Hicks said that he is able to trust that his throws will have their usual sizzle as he fires toward a base or a cutoff man. That has been an encouraging development for the outfielder, who underwent Tommy John surgery last October.

“For the most part, it’s been really good,” Hicks said. “I’ll throw a bunch of balls and I would say probably 90 percent of them are coming out pretty good, going exactly where I want them to go and coming out with really good velo. But some, it just doesn’t want to cooperate with me. I hear it’s one of those normal things that is very common from Tommy John.”

Hicks said that he is learning to reduce those issues by warming up more between innings.

“I would say it's normally my first couple throws of getting back into the inning,” Hicks said. “When I'm warmed up, I normally feel pretty good. The later it gets during innings, I can feel it get kind of cold, if that makes sense.”

Sunshine state

New protocols released by Major League Baseball this week are confining players to their hotel rooms during road trips, with few exceptions. Yankees reliever Chad Green said that he had no issue with the increased focus on safety, which coincided with the club’s first visit to Florida this season.

“No anxiety; it's been hotel to ballpark, back and forth,” Green said. “There's really no reason for us to leave the hotel. The team does a great job of providing us food and stuff to do at the hotel. I don't think anybody's had any worries about traveling down here, so it's been pretty much business as usual.”

Bombers bits

• Aroldis Chapman is continuing to advance as he rehabs at the alternate training site in Moosic, Pa. Chapman is scheduled to face hitters on Tuesday, according to Boone.

• At 40 years and 54 days of age, Erik Kratz became the second-oldest player to start at catcher for the Yankees when he was in the lineup for the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Deacon McGuire’s final start at catcher came at 42 years, 321 days on Oct. 5, 1906.

Up next

Following an off-day on Monday, the Yankees will return to Yankee Stadium and open a two-game series against the Braves on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. Probable pitchers have not yet been announced.

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