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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees return coming into focus

The Yankees were without Giancarlo Stanton again on Tuesday, as the DH remained on the 10-day IL with a strained left quad even though he was eligible to return.

Manager Aaron Boone called Stanton’s availability during the series against the Blue Jays, which runs through Thursday in The Bronx, “a possibility.”

Stanton took batting practice on the field on Sunday, but still needed to run the bases.

“We’re making sure we’re past this and getting through the final couple days and getting back to playing speed,’’ the manager said before Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Toronto.

Stanton last played on May 13 at Tampa Bay. He followed up his torrid stretch, when he went 25-for-52 with 10 extra-base hits during a 12-game hitting streak by going just 3-for-22 with a double, four walks and nine strikeouts in his next six games before going down with the injury.

Giancarlo StantonN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Former Yankee Carlos Beltran was in attendance Tuesday, sitting next to the visiting Blue Jays’ dugout. Beltran served as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman in 2019 before leaving to become the Mets manager. But Beltran didn’t even make it to the Mets’ dugout, fired after MLB completed its investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, which found him to be a key figure while he played for Houston in 2017.

DJ LeMahieu and his wife had a baby on Tuesday and he was placed on the paternity list prior to the game. No corresponding move was made, so the Yankees played a man short. With LeMahieu out, Rougned Odor was at second, and Luke Voit hit leadoff.

Voit is also looking to get going at the plate. He entered Tuesday with just one extra-base hit on the season after missing the first month following left knee surgery during spring training.

Voit went 1-for-4 Tuesday and blamed his slow start on “hitting the ball on the ground way too much” and struggling against breaking pitches.

“It’s gonna come,’’ Voit said of his power. “I’m not worried about it. I’m striking out way too much. I’ve just been playing terrible.”

Justin Wilson’s miserable season continued. He allowed a homer to Randal Grichuk in the ninth. He’s given up eight runs in 7 ²/₃ innings over his last eight appearances.

Zack Britton threw a bullpen session Monday and “everything went well,’’ according to Boone. The lefty has been out since undergoing elbow surgery during spring training following his offseason battle with COVID.

“He felt great,’’ Boone said.

His comeback was delayed when he reported soreness following a bullpen session, but the Yankees hope he’s able to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A Somerset.

Boone said Britton should need about five rehab appearances before he’s ready to return to the Yankees’ bullpen.

“It will take as long as he and we feel he’s ready to come back and be Zack Britton,’’ said Boone, who added Britton likely won’t be used on back-to-back days for a while, even after he rejoins the team.

Domingo German starts Wednesday having walked just eight batters in 44 ¹/₃ innings on the season. His walk rate of 1.6 per nine innings is a career-best.

“I’ve always wanted to attack hitters,’’ German said through an interpreter. “I don’t like walking people. I’d rather give up a hit or a homer than walking a batter.”

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