The New York Yankees were already surging to close the month of May, going 13-6 over their last 19 games to climb back into the thick of the AL East race. And now that the calendar has flipped to June, the cavalry has begun to arrive:
Today, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 1, 2023
• Returned from rehab and reinstated INF Josh Donaldson (#28) and OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (#27) from the 10-day injured list.
• Returned from rehab and reinstated RHP Tommy Kahnle (#41) from the 60-day injured list.
New York made a flurry of roster moves ahead of the team’s marquee showdown against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend. The headliner: Giancarlo Stanton, out since mid-April with a hamstring strain, will be making his return to the lineup. The former MVP only took part in one rehab game down at Double-A Somerset — and Aaron Boone has already said he’ll serve strictly as a DH for the first couple of weeks — but he’s apparently feeling good enough to get back into the lineup in front of his hometown crowd.
Donaldson has also been out since April with a hamstring strain, and while he’s become a bit of a pariah among Yankees fans amid struggles at the plate since he was acquired last offseason, his steady defense at third will be more than welcome — and it allows the team to spell DJ LeMahieu a bit to try and keep him healthy. For whatever it’s worth, Donaldson swung the bat very well in his brief stint in the Minors, with a 1.316 OPS in three games at Triple-A.
The Yankees’ bullpen is already arguably the best in baseball despite injuries to Jonathan Loaisiga, Lou Trivino and Ian Hamilton, and Kahnle’s return will only make it that much deeper. The righty has battled near-constant health issues for the past few years — he’s pitched a total of 13.2 innings over the last four years — but he’s been effective whenever he’s on the mound, and he was fantastic in his first stint with New York from 2017 to 2020.
Plenty of question marks remain for this team, most notably their lack of any left-handed hitting outside of Anthony Rizzo. But with Stanton returning and Carlos Rodon (hopefully) progressing to facing live hitters soon, the Yankees could be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch.