SEATTLE – The Knights are coming. Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Tommy Canley are all headed to the West Coast, poised to join a more complete roster of the Yankees for Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
A source told MLB.com that the rehabilitated Yankees trio left New York on Wednesday for California. All three players were freshened up from their minor league rehab assignments on Thursday, as the club enjoyed a day off.
“They’ve all been doing really well here for a while and have been able to do a lot of physical work to prepare themselves,” Yankees coach Aaron Boone said Wednesday in Seattle. “For the most part, I feel like they’re ready to go.”
The Dodgers series promises to be a homecoming for Stanton, the most valuable player from last year’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium and a product of the Tujunga borough of Los Angeles.
Although Stanton has only played in one minor league rehab game since suffering a left hamstring strain on April 15 — going 0-for-3 with an outing on Tuesday for Double-A Somerset — Boone said that wouldn’t necessarily stop him from joining again. Another Yankees lineup.
“We now have many tools that you can replicate [at-bats] Bonn said. “In Giancarlo’s case, he’s been doing a lot of the physical stuff in terms of the outside work and the sprinting buildup. On the hurting side of things, what they can do behind the scenes to accelerate that curve has grown exponentially over the last couple of years.”
Hitting the pitching machine is “very close, velocity-wise, but it’s still not quite the same,” Stanton said Tuesday in Somerset, N.J. [as facing pitchers]. I have to adapt as quickly as possible.”
Boone said he would use Stanton as a designated hitter, at least for the first two weeks.
“I need to be [in the outfield]. Stanton said. “It’s better for the team too, so that’s what I have to do.”
Donaldson has been out since April 5 with a right hamstring strain, which was later exacerbated in a rehab game on April 18. Donaldson has played in four Minor League rehab games over the past week, three for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre games and one for Somerset, going 4-for-13 (. 308) with one double, one homer, two RBIs and four walks.
Boone indicated that he expected Donaldson to win back an everyday spot as the Yankees’ third baseman. DJ LeMahieu will return to the utility role between first base, second base, and third base.
“We’ll work it out,” Boone said. “It will work on its own.”
Canley missed most of spring training due to right bicep tendinitis and has yet to start his season. The right-hander has made five Minor League rehab appearances at three, posting a 1.80 ERA by allowing one run in five innings to Single-A Tampa, Somerset, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s always rewarding when you’re finally done with rehab and back with the team to help, rather than sitting at the training table,” Canley said Tuesday.
On opposite list moves, Yankees linebacker/outfielder Oswaldo Cabrera, outfielder Franchi Cordero, and left fielder Matt Crook singled out to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Cabrera provided a welcome spark after being promoted last August and edged out the since-released Aaron Hicks to be the Yankees’ Opening Day left fielder, but the 24-year-old hit just . 195/. 246/. 292 in 50 games. .
“Part of surviving and thriving here is being able to handle the ups and downs, and being able to make adjustments because the league is constantly making adjustments for you,” Bunn said earlier this week. “Those are the spacers. He’s got a great head on his shoulders and he’s a really good player. We’ll continue to work with him to try and make those adjustments.”
Boone added after Wednesday’s game that he also expects first baseman Anthony Rizzo to return to the lineup on Friday. Rizzo missed three starts during the Seattle Series due to a stiff neck and was only available in an “emergency situation,” according to Boone.
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