When the Yankees announced their lineup for Sunday’s rubber match with the Toronto Blue Jays, Giancarlo Stanton’s name was noticeably absent.
Stanton, who served as the Yankees designated hitter in each of the first two games, was replaced in that role Sunday by Aaron Judge, with Aaron Boone sliding Clint Frazier to right field and starting Brett Gardner in left.
Speaking to reporters Sunday morning, Boone explained his decision to sit Stanton, saying it was more about giving him a rest and putting another left-handed bat in the lineup than anything else.
“G’s good, just wanted to get a lefty in there,” Boone said. “This is probably the best day to do that. I’m not gonna play G probably five days in a row, was kind of what I told him. So I figured, this was the best day to do that.
“Nothing more than that.”
Aaron Boone says Giancarlo Stanton won't be in the lineup today:
"Just wanted to get a lefty in there…I'm not gonna play G five days in a row" pic.twitter.com/XyrkTQujdq
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) April 4, 2021
Stanton is 0-for-8 in his two games this season with three strikeouts and two walks. He even heard some boos from the Yankee Stadium crowd on Opening Day, as he went 0-for-5 and struck out in his final three at-bats.
Update on Zack Britton
Boone was also asked to provide an update on Zack Britton, who is recovering from March surgery to remove a bone chip in his left elbow.
And while the setup man’s return is still a long way down the road, Boone has a positive outlook on how Britton is feeling right now.
“Zack’s doing really well. He’s got full range of motion,” Boone said. “I think he is scheduled to start playing catch as early as this week. … The incision and the swelling and all that, which is the biggest hurdle to clear initially, is going really well for him.
“Obviously with him being on the [60-day IL], we’ll factor that in instead of rushing him, racing him back to get back potentially mid or late-May or anything like that. We’ll kind of try to schedule it out to hopefully have him on time to come off right when he’s eligible. But we’re a long ways away from that, and first things first is getting through this initial phase of getting that range of motion back and then having him start a throwing program, and then we’ll step-from-step from there.”