The New York Yankees have shaken off a brutal start to the 2023 season and are firmly in the AL East race. Although they still trail the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, two of their starters are going to make returns from injury soon: Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson. Both sluggers are traveling with the team on its road trip to Los Angeles with the expectation that they will be cleared to return to the lineup.
Stanton hasn't played since April 15 and Donaldson hasn't played since April 5, both due to hamstring strains. Staton injured his left while Donaldson injured his right. In order to accommodate the returns of Stanton and Donaldson, the Yankees optioned three players down to their minor league affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
“Following last night’s game, the Yankees optioned INF/OF Oswaldo Cabrera, INF/OF Franchy Cordero and LHP Matt Krook to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,” the team announced on Twitter. The Yankees will face the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend before returning back home.
Cabrera is one of the Yankees' notable prospects but has not had a good season so far, posting a .538 OPS across 50 games. Cordero had a very hot start to the season with four home runs in seven games but has also fallen off, posting a .567 OPS at the moment. Krook hasn't thrown for the Yankees yet but has been pretty good at the Triple-A level.
Stanton has a .854 OPS across 54 plate appearances this season. Donaldson has a .489 OPS but across just 17 plate appearances. Aaron Judge is still smacking the air out of the ball on a regular basis, propelling the Yankees' offense along with Anthony Rizzo. Getting Stanton's bat back and getting the most they can get out of Donaldson will be key. Especially with other guys like Harrison Bader and Oswald Peraza also injured, the returns of the veteran hitters are very helpful.
Along with Stanton and Donaldson, pitcher Tommy Kahnle is expected to make his season debut during the Yankees' West Coast trip, too. A right biceps injury has sidelined the 33-year-old. Residing in arguably the toughest division in MLB means that New York cannot afford any more injuries to multiple key players at a time.