The Yankees have announced a series of moves ahead of tonight’s game with the Orioles. Most notably, Designated Hitter/Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton is heading to the 10-day injured list with a sprained right calf. New York also placed the reliever Jonathan Loaisiga on the 15 days IL and designated recipient Rob Brantley for assignment. In corresponding moves, the Yankees hosted Joey Gallo back from the COVID-19 injured list. They also recalled the relievers J.P. Sears and David McKay of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Stanton was one of the best hitters for the AL-leading Yankees. He crushes a clip of .285/.339/.523, and his 11 homers rank him fifth in MLB. The Big Puncher has a personal walk rate of 8.3%, but he does more than enough damage on contact to compensate for the corresponding drop in his base percentage. Stanton has been instrumental in a roster that is among the best in the league. Judge Aaron plays at an MVP-like pace throughout the first month and a half of the season, with Stanton and Anthony Rizo also offering intermediate caliber production.
Unfortunately, Stanton is also no stranger to the injured list. He’s landed on the IL due to leg issues in each of the last four years. Stanton missed a significant portion of the 2019 campaign with a sprained right knee, then lost more than half of the shortened 2020 season with a sprained left hamstring. The 32-year-old had a more minor IL stint due to a left strain last year, and he will obviously miss time with his current illness. A timeline remains unclear, but manager Aaron Boone briefed reporters last night (via Joel Sherman of the New York Post) that he was heading for an MRI after leaving yesterday’s game with calf tightness.
The Yankees have been hit hard with injuries in recent days. New York Lost Pitchers green chad and Louis Gil to Tommy John proceedings over the weekend. Closer Aroldis Chapman struck IL with Achilles tendonitis yesterday, and Boone told reporters this afternoon that Loáisiga was heading to IL with shoulder discomfort. The team’s official diagnosis for Loáisiga is shoulder inflammation.
New York welcomes Gallo to the lineup days after he landed on the virus list. The powerhouse outfielder hit IL on Sunday as part of a line of Yankees suffering from flu-like symptoms, but he and Kyle Higashioka came back quickly. Gallo is able to adapt in either corner of the outfield but is struggling this season, owning just a .176/.294/.333 line in 119 plate appearances.
Brantly was selected on the 40-man roster once Higashioka came out to provide catching depth behind Jose Trevino. With Higahioka now back, Brantly loses his roster spot after appearing in one game. The 32-year-old has seen brief action at the big league level in each of the past four years, but he hasn’t had more than 40 MLB board appearances in a season since 2013. He will have the right to refuse an outright assignment. in favor of minor league free agency if he goes through unclaimed waivers.