Yankees' Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton Are Expected to Play Everyday in Postseason

Max Goodman

Since returning from the injured list, both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have had their fair share of days off.

For the Yankees fans exasperated about their favorite stars sitting on the sidelines as the clock ticks down to New York's regular season finale, don't fret! There's a method to Yankees' manager Aaron Boone's madness and it's paying off.

Giving the sluggers a day to rest after a game or two was all part of the plan as they continue to build up on the diamond after weeks of rehab. 

When the calendar flips to October, however, Boone doesn't expect any restraints being placed on his two MVP-caliber sluggers. The plan is for those periodic days off not to be necessary as the Bombers battle for a shot at a World Series title. 

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"I think first and foremost, when we brought him back, we believe he's healthy," Boone said of Judge. "Hopefully by the end of the season here, he'll have played eight or nine or 10 games, had that level of at-bats and workload so once we get to the playoffs, it's go."

Asked if that same "go" will apply to Stanton as well, Boone didn't hesitate.

"I do, yes."

Both Judge and Stanton have played in five games thus far since coming off the IL, each working up to playing in back-to-back games before an additional day of rest.

With just five games remaining in the regular season, the plan is to work both sluggers up to playing three or four games in a row, setting them up to be ready to stay on the field when it really counts.

"I don't necessarily look at this last week as time we're giving guys off," Boone said. "Obviously in a lopsided game, I get a few guys out of there of their feet late and things like that. Judge will have one more off day probably and Giancarlo one more off day. Other than that, we're playing it pretty straight and playing it to grind out these wins."

Judge missed a total of 30 games with a right calf strain. He returned for one game before spending an additional three weeks on the sidelines due to an aggravation in his calf and "failed rehab." 

"Calf feels good. No issues," Judge said on Monday night. "I've been able to run around pain-free with no problems. Feeling good in the box. It's going to take four or five games to get the timing back."

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The Yankees' right fielder had three hits on Tuesday, running the bases with ease and scoring three times.

Stanton missed over a month with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain. After his four-hit game late last week at Yankee Stadium, he confirmed that he's moved past his injury as well, saying he didn't feel anything in his hamstring while scampering out of the box and pulling in to second base on a double.

Judge and Stanton have appeared simultaneously in the Yankees' starting lineup just two times since Aug. 8. Barring any setbacks, that number will begin to grow each day in October.

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