Giancarlo Stanton could play in Yankees opener


TAMPA, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton had been considered unlikely to be ready for the beginning of the regular season after straining his right calf in late February, but with Major League Baseball pushing Opening Day back, the Yankees expect to have the slugger ready and rested whenever their team returns to the field.

“He looks good,” hitting coach Marcus Thames said on Wednesday. “He did some stuff inside and then we took a couple of rounds on the field, trying to space ourselves out, not touching the balls and all kinds of stuff.”

Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade performed on-field hitting at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex on Wednesday as the Yankees continue informal, staggered workouts for players on the 40-man roster. J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and Luke Voit were among the other players present.

#Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames explains how workouts are going inside @gmsfield.

“It’s weird. I have to wear latex gloves and batting gloves. Just trying to stay safe.”

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 18, 2020

Thames said the Yankees are taking special precautions as a result of the COVID-19 virus, which infected two players in the club’s Minor League complex in recent days. Those players, who were not roommates, are said to be recovering.

“It's weird; I have to wear latex gloves and batting gloves,” Thames said. “Just trying to stay safe, trying to listen to the health people and make sure we're doing the right thing.”

As a result of the two positive coronavirus tests, the Yankees shuttered their Minor League facility until March 25. The Hillsborough County Department of Health directed the Yankees to issue self-quarantines for all Minor League players until that date, plus some coaches and staff members.

The club is providing self-quarantined players with three boxed meals per day at their apartments or hotel rooms, plus a financial stipend. At the conclusion of the self-quarantine, those Minor Leaguers who are able to return home will be encouraged to do so.

“You always want people to stay healthy and stuff like that, especially with what's going on,” Thames said. “You just hope the best and try to stay away from people as much as you can. It's hard because of the industry that we're in, but I live here so if guys want to work out, I’ll come in and try to help out as much as I can. Hopefully everybody can get through this together.”


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