Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton takes baby steps in rehab

Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton takes baby steps in rehab

Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo StantonGetty Images

BRADENTON, Fla. — According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Giancarlo Stanton was going to throw, hit off a tee and participate in flip tosses Saturday.

Stanton suffered a Grade 1 right-calf strain during a fielding drill on Feb. 26 and hasn’t played since. This past week, GM Brian Cashman said he didn’t think Stanton would be ready to play on Opening Day and explained sometime in April was more realistic.

The Yankees optioned RHP Nick Nelson to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and sent RHP Miguel Yajure to Double-A Trenton.

Jonathan Loaisiga opened camp with a strong chance to grab one of the 13 spots on the Yankees’ staff in either a conventional starter’s role or more of a hybrid reliever/starter.

“He continues to get ahead and attack with pitches,’’ Aaron Boone said of Loaisiga’s two-inning outing Saturday. “All in all, pretty good.’’

Loaisiga gave up two runs, two hits — the first hits and runs he has given up this spring — and struck out two in two innings in a 7-4 win over the Pirates. He has fanned 11 in seven innings in three games.

Help. The Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Pirates on Saturday took a ridiculous 3 hours, 42 minutes to complete. Rob Manfred has many ideas about changing the game he is in charge of and should put a time limit on exhibition games. One way would be to have teams schedule “B’’ games in the morning on a back field.

There was a time when the Yankees believed John Ryan Murphy would at least be their backup catcher. Nevertheless, they couldn’t pass up getting Aaron Hicks for Murphy from the Twins following the 2015 season. Since then, he has played for the Diamondbacks and the Braves.

Murphy helped his chances of grabbing the Pirates’ backup job with a towering two-run homer off Loaisiga in the second inning.

The Yankees have two games today. Masahiro Tanaka starts against the Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field, and Clarke Schmidt faces the Orioles in Sarasota.

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