Stanton is batting cleanup as the Yankees’ designated hitter Friday night at Dodger Stadium in his first game since April 15. Donaldson is hitting fifth and playing third base in his first appearance since April 5.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said both veterans are likely to play in two of the three games this weekend in Los Angeles. Reliever Tommy Kahnle is also back in uniform in anticipation of his season debut.
“Good to see them here and part of this,” Boone said. “They’ve worked hard to get to this point, so excited to get them back in there and get going.”
Stanton, a Los Angeles native and childhood Dodgers fan, has been sidelined by a left hamstring injury, while Donaldson has been out with a strained right hamstring. Kahnle developed biceps tendinitis in spring training.
Boone expects a boost for an offense that began the weekend 10th in the majors in runs scored after finishing second to the Dodgers last season.
“You’re talking about two sluggers in there that are just going to add a little bit of length,” Boone said. “It’ll be a little tricky, kind of maneuvering the timing and all to get [Stanton] built up properly. He’s probably not going to be in play for the outfield for a couple of weeks, so you’ve got to move the puzzle around, but first and foremost just excited to have them back, and obviously Tommy back in the ‘pen. Another step toward being normal.”
Carlos Rodón had a 30-pitch bullpen session Friday in Los Angeles that went well, according to Boone. Rodon has been out since spring training due to a sore left forearm and a back injury, but the $162 million left-hander should be ready to face live hitters soon.