The Yankees do not have immediate plans to shut down Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, manager Aaron Boone said, but there will be further conversations about the possibility.
The Yankees have nine games left in their season and are 7 ½ games back of a wild-card spot after they beat the Blue Jays, 5-3, on Thursday in The Bronx.
They have not been mathematically eliminated, but their season essentially, if not officially, is over.
It is at least possible Judge’s and Stanton’s seasons will finish early.
Judge is moving better these days, but he is still playing through a ligament tear in his right big toe suffered in early June.
Boone has said Stanton is fine physically, but the struggling right fielder and DH has plunged offensively (he is currently in a 2-for-39 rut) and has had issues running the bases as he protects himself from a lower-body injury.
Boone said the Yankees would “continue to pay close attention” to Judge and Stanton in deciding whether it is better for one or both to take a seat before the season finale Oct. 1.
“Certainly have conversations with those guys, but no plans [right now],” Boone said before the game, in which Judge smacked an RBI double and Stanton did not play.
The Yankees will play their final home game Sunday before going on a season-ending road trip to Toronto and Kansas City.
As Stanton sat, Jake Bauers played right field in making his first start in a week.
The 27-year-old outfielder and first baseman has been minimized as the club looks toward younger outfielders.
Bauers showed he has kept working and blasted a three-run home run, his 12th homer of the season, in the first inning against Jose Berrios.
“I think the toughest part has to be probably mentally, staying focused, staying locked in,” Bauers said. “You just keep going, keep showing up until your number’s called.”
Everson Pereira was out of the starting lineup for a seventh straight game with a low-grade hamstring strain.
“I thought he looked pretty good [Wednesday],” Boone said. “See how he does today and hopefully avoid an IL stint.”
Boone was asked about his job security in a season that general manager Brian Cashman said has been a “disaster.”
“I don’t really have any thought on it,” Boone said. “That’s ultimately not my decision. My job is to try as best I can to get this team ready to go and put us in the best position not only tonight but moving forward, and I’m going to continue to do that to the best of my ability.”
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith bounced a ceremonial first pitch to Kyle Higashioka and was lightly booed.