Aroldis Chapman stepped off the COVID-19 injured list and joined the Yankees on Monday night when they looked to sweep a four-game series against the rancid Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Aaron Judge, out with a right calf problem, expects to bounce off the IL on Saturday, the first day he is eligible.
That is the upbeat update on the Yankees’ injured players.
Here is the flip side for the 15-6 Yankees, who led the AL East by two games over the Rays and were on a five-game win streak entering Monday night’s action.
DJ LeMahieu’s sprained left thumb will keep him sidelined for two to three weeks, according to manager Aaron Boone, and Giancarlo Stanton’s left hamstring pull, suffered on Aug. 8 running the bases, hasn’t been able to start baseball activities yet.
Considering injuries to his arm and knee limited him to 18 regular-season games last year, and a calf problem suffered in spring training 1.0 wasn’t going to let him be available for the original Opening Day on March 26, Stanton is down about the most recent ailment.
“Words really can’t describe the disappointment over this, but I can’t dwell on it. I have to see what is in front of me,’’ said Stanton, who hit .293 with three homers, seven RBIs and a 1.030 OPS in 14 games. “Still a decent amount of the season and playoffs [left]. I have been in this situation before and it seems unreal at times.’’
According to Boone, there is a positive vibe since no broken bone was revealed during an MRI exam of LeMahieu’s thumb.
“Our hand specialist has weighed in and kind of agrees with the prognosis so it is looking like a similar timeline as the one he had before, in that two-to-three-week range,’’ Boone said of his most complete hitter, who left Saturday’s game after suffering the injury on an awkward swing and is hitting .411. “We are sending [tests results] to the hand specialist that dealt with him a few years ago when this [also] occurred. He hasn’t weighed in yet, but feel pretty good about where it is at right now. There is no fracture in there. The ligaments on the side are intact, so it’s just a sprain so it is getting the swelling out of there.’’
LeMahieu was on the IL from May 14 to June 1 in 2018 with a sprained left thumb as a Rockie. That same year, LeMahieu was on the IL from July 21 to Aug. 2 with a strained left oblique.
As for Judge, who begged the Yankees not to put him on the IL, Boone said he is progressing.
“He has started to do some baseball stuff. I saw him in the gym earlier going through some movement stuff,’’ Boone said late Monday afternoon.
Asked if the previous calf injury and the hamstring could be used to gauge where he is with the current problem, Stanton said that wasn’t a possibility.
“No, the comeback is much different. If we were comparing the two this one is better than [the calf],’’ Stanton said.
Stanton has been criticized for not being able to stay on the field in his second and third seasons, and he shares the disappointment Yankee fans have in him.
“I am disappointed in myself. Just hold on tight. I am working and there is nothing for me to do but work and keep a positive mindset. There is nothing benefitting from being negative,’’ Stanton said.
Stanton worked to trim his sculpted body during the shutdown hoping to avoid injury after a lost 2019 season. Then 15 games into a 60-game season, he gets hurt running the bases.
“It’s been tough, to be honest. This is my life. I put a lot into this. It is unbelievable,’’ Stanton said. “People have been in worse. You have to be positive and keep moving forward.’’