HOUSTON — Giancarlo Stanton is not starting Sunday for the New York Yankees against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS after straining his right quadriceps in the first game of the series.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said in a news conference before Sunday’s game that Stanton was injured legging out a single in his first at-bat Saturday night. Stanton batted three more times in the Yankees’ 7-0 victory, including hitting a home run off Zack Grienke in the sixth inning, before being removed for Cameron Maybin, who will start tonight in left field.
An MRI revealed the strain but Boone remained open to the possibility that Stanton would be available to pinch-hit tonight.
“Hoping that it's something that with today and the off day, that he would be back in play for Game 3. We'll just kind of see how these next 48 hours unfold.” Boone said. If he is able to return as DH, that will force a decision between Stanton and Edwin Encarnación.
The 2017 NL MVP played just 18 regular-season games this year, returning less than a month ago from a stint on the 60-day IL for a strained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The record-setting number of injuries — especially to crucial pieces and big-name stars — and their seemingly endless ability to overcome that was the dominant storyline in the Yankees’ 103-win season. That adaptability and confidence in their backups should serve the Yankees well now as they away Stanton’s full recovery.
“Especially where we are now, where we are a lot more whole than we've been, and to turn to Cameron Maybin or Aaron Hicks and having those options in there, we feel great about what we're running out there,” Boone said.
Boone said there are no plans to remove Stanton from the ALCS roster, which would make him ineligible for the World Series. Mike Tauchman, who thrived in 87 games as a replacement for Stanton and other outfielders this year, is not currently on the roster. First baseman Luke Voit was also left off the squad for the Houston series.
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