Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will return to the starting lineup for Game 5 of the ALCS against the Astros. Stanton has been out since Game 1 of the ALCS when he injured his quad.
He will DH and bat fourth in the Yankees lineup for Game 5, while Edwin Encarnacion will be on the bench.
Prior to Game 4 on Thursday night, Stanton was seen attempting to run bases during warm-ups. However, his strained quad prevented him from playing in the game.
Manager Aaron Boone had said that Stanton would be available to come off the bench to pinch hit if the opportunity presented itself.
"I do believe we have his bat off the bench right now," Boone said. "We'll continue to evaluate this as smartly as we can moving forward."
Stanton had also mentioned how he needed to move around more on the field to check his ability to play outfield.
"That's gonna be the biggest hurdle right now," Stanton said.
The Yankees could have added someone like Mike Tauchman to the roster in place of Stanton. However, that would make Stanton ineligible to be added back to the roster if the Yankees make the World Series.
Boone spoke to media on Friday before Game 5 of the ALCS and spoke about Stanton wanting to return to play.
"Just felt good about his progress yesterday," Boone said. "It felt like it was the first day where he made some pretty good progress. Clearly not a hundred percent running, don't feel like hitting will be an issue for him. Just have to govern himself out on the bases, but he's been kind of wanting in there the last few days. Held off, held off. He actually did come by my office last night and we both kind of said "let's go". Excited to have him back in here."
With playoff elimination on the line, having Stanton in the lineup for Game 5 could give the Yankees a needed boost.