Home News Yankees’ Juan Soto still has some right hand discomfort

Yankees’ Juan Soto still has some right hand discomfort

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Juan Soto took a big whiff at strike three in the third inning Tuesday night and immediately grimaced in a concerning look.

The Yankees star remained in the game and was back in the lineup Wednesday, going 2-for-4 in a much-needed 2-1 win over the Rays.

But manager Aaron Boone acknowledged that uncomfortable-looking swing was due to the right hand discomfort that Soto has still been feeling at times after banging it on the ground against the Blue Jays on June 28.

Juan Soto steals second base in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 2-1 win over the Rays. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

“Every now and then, he’ll take a swing where it bothers him a little bit or a swing-and-miss where it bothers him,” Boone said Wednesday at Tropicana Field. “But overall, he’s doing pretty well with it. It’s obviously not affecting his ability to impact the ball much.”

Soto homered a few innings after initially sustaining the bruised hand and was scratched from the lineup the next day because he was having difficulty swinging the bat.

He was a late addition to the lineup the following day after it had improved enough and has not missed a game since, though he entered Wednesday batting 5-for-29 (.172) with eight walks, one home run and a .662 OPS in eight games since the injury.

“He’s definitely been grinding through some things, but not something that I think any of us are too worried about,” Boone said.

Giancarlo Stanton, who did “quite a bit of running” on Tuesday according to Boone, could be in a position to play in games when the Yankees return from the All-Star break next Friday.

Giancarlo Stanton could return to the Yankees' lineup soon after the All-Star break.
Giancarlo Stanton could return to the Yankees’ lineup soon after the All-Star break. Robert Sabo / New York Post

The team is still debating whether Stanton, coming back from a hamstring strain that he suffered on June 22, will need a rehab assignment before coming back.

Stanton missed six weeks with a hamstring strain last year but only played in one rehab game before returning to the Yankees.

He homered and doubled in his first two games back but then fell into a slump.

“We’ll consider all that,” Boone said. “Some of the tools we have at our disposal now change the game a little bit with how guys are able to get ready and see things. We’ll try to make the best decision for everybody.”

The Yankees signed lefty reliever Tim Mayza to a minor league contract after he was designated for assignment and released by the Blue Jays.

Mayza, who gave up Aaron Judge’s 61st home run in 2022, had an 8.03 ERA in 35 appearances this season for the Blue Jays with his velocity down.

But it was only last year that he posted a 1.52 ERA across 69 games, which the Yankees are hoping they can tap back into.

“We’ll see what we have,” Boone said. “Pretty good track record. It’s been a tough year for him … but he’s been a guy that’s performed really well in the AL East.”

It’s a low-risk flier for the Yankees, who are expected to be active in the reliever trade market by the July 30 deadline.

Their bullpen has struggled overall but particularly their lefties, with Caleb Ferguson and Victor Gonzalez (who has already been DFA’d) not pitching up to their potential.

DJ LeMahieu took a beating at the plate, getting hit on the left pinky by a 92 mph fastball and later fouling off a ball that bounced up and hit him on the neck, just below his jaw.

After being tended to by a trainer and Boone both times — needing a longer breather in the second instance — he remained in the game.

“Seemed like he got better as we went,” Boone said. “DJ felt like yeah, he’s 100 percent, he’s fine. Pay attention to it, but I think we’re all right.”

Soto stole second base in the eighth inning, marking the Yankees’ first steal since June 14 — snapping a 21-game streak without one.

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