Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t want to watch interleague games from the bench like he did last weekend in Philadelphia, and told reporters on Wednesday that he is getting in outfield work to prepare to be in the lineup come early July.
The Yankees’ next interleague series is against the Mets beginning on July 2, but in the Bronx. Their next road series against a National League team comes later in the month against the Marlins.
“I’m getting conditioned back to get ready to be in outfield,” Stanton said. “From not being able to run or play much defense the last few weeks, so I’m getting back into it.”
Stanton was on the IL for a quad strain last month, and was eased back into the lineup as a DH after not having a rehab assignment. In the Yankees’ two-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies, Stanton was only available as a pinch hitter.
Stanton has yet to play the outfield at all this season and didn’t play any last year, but with injuries to Aaron Hicks and the need to get Aaron Judge periodic rest to avoid his own injuries, the ability to play Stanton in the outfield when DH isn’t an option would be a boost for the Yankees, who need his bat in the lineup.
Stanton played a total of 72 games in the outfield in 2018, filling in nicely for Aaron Judge when he went down with a fractured wrist, but made just 13 appearances in the outfield in 2019, when he battled multiple injuries throughout the season.
He was a regular outfielder with the Marlins, playing in 149 games in 2017.
Stanton will likely never return to that kind of outfield consistency, but the 31-year-old is hoping he can at least be a contributor and a presence in the starting lineup during interleague games this summer.
“I’m pretty sure I’m at early July,” Stanton said when asked when he might be ready to take the field. “I don’t want to see another National League situation where I’m not out there.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1