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Giancarlo Stanton is coming back and so are the Bronx Bombers

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 6/18/2019 Kristie Ackert

New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton bats at the New York Yankees spring training baseball facility, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. © AP Photo/Lynne Sladky New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton bats at the New York Yankees spring training baseball facility, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. It has been almost three months since the Yankees saw Giancarlo Stanton in their lineup. Stanton went on the injured list on April 1 with a left biceps strain and since then the Yankees have battled their way out of a slow start and played their way into a 1.5 game lead over the Rays in the American League East.

Now, they are getting reinforcements. Stanton was expected to be activated off the injured list before Tuesday night’s game against the Rays at the Stadium and play in his first game since March 31.

“I can’t wait. People are saying ‘Murderer’s Row.’ It’s going to be fun,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said. “It’ll be an intimidating lineup. If you get one guy out, you’re going to have to face the next guy. It’ll be nice to hit around Stanton. I haven’t been able to play with him for a long time and the guy is an MVP for a reason, so I’m excited to get him back.”

It’s not just the return of Stanton. Monday the Yankees added Edwin Encarnacion, the AL home run leader, to the lineup. Aaron Boone said before Monday night’s 3-0 win over the Rays they expect Aaron Judge back from his stint on the injured list sometime this week.

“Yeah we have a great lineup. And when those two animals come back, it’s gonna be even more powerful, an even better lineup,” Gary Sanchez said. “We just gotta stay healthy and keep on playing baseball.”

Stanton was placed on the injured list initially with a left biceps strain. During his rehab from that injury, he was diagnosed and treated for a left shoulder strain. After that, as he was ramping up for a return, he suffered a left calf strain. Stanton, who hit 38 home runs and drove in 100 runs last season, played a majority of last season as a DH because of a leg issue.

But with the addition of Encarnacion, Stanton will be forced to play the outfield more.

The Yankees are not too worried about keeping him healthy, seeing the addition of Encarnacion as some protection as well.

“When we acquired G, it wasn’t to be a DH,” GM Brian Cashman said. “We feel like we have a very athletic outfielder. Because we’re an American League club, we had a chance to settle him in his first year. He predominantly wound up slotting into that DH spot and then he played the outfield a lot when Judge was down. He’s more than capable.

“With (Brett Gardner) here and (Aaron) Hicks and Judge when he returns, you’re going to get a chance to see (Boone) continue to do what I think he’s done a masterful job of, mixing and matching and making sure everyone stays fresh,” Cashman continued. “Everyone stays protected, everyone has a chance to recover with a rest day.”

The addition of Encarnacion, Stanton and Judge in one week is exciting potential for power.

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“Well, I like them when they fly out on our side that’s for sure,” Boone said of the home run potential of his lineup. “Look it’s definitely a humongous part of the game right now and more and more guys are capable of doing it, more and more teams have more and more guys that are capable of doing it. So, you know, you like to have that kind of firepower, but it’s certainly something that goes in from a run prevention standpoint that you try to guard against that in your game planning. Knowing that more and more guys are capable of hurting you if you make a mistake, that’s why where and how we pitch guys becomes so important.”

It is also exciting to Voit and the other sluggers in the lineup, who are expecting changes in how they are pitched.

“I’ll get more fastballs,” Voit said with a huge smile when asked what their return to the lineup will mean. “It’s huge, and it’s a credit to all the guys that came up, too. We needed them. No one expected us to 15 or 16 games over .500. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are two of the guys that you see in commercials on MLB every day, so I’m excited to get those guys back and it’s going to make our lineup even more deadly than it already is. I think it’s a good thing for the guys in this locker room to see their presence. We need those guys. We expected these guys to be here, so it’ll be finally nice to see some big dudes come in this locker room.”

Related slideshow: Best of the 2019 MLB season (Provided by imagn)

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