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Yankees place Giancarlo Stanton on injured list with strained PCL

Just six games after returning from a biceps strain, Giancarlo Stanton is headed back to the injured list.

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have placed outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a strained PCL — a disappointing development, no doubt, for Stanton, who played just six games after returning from a biceps strain that cost him more than six weeks. Manager Aaron Boone shared the news with reporters following the Yankees’ victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday:

Stanton, the 2017 NL MVP, has played in just nine games for the Yankees this season. In 38 plate appearances, he has a .290/.421/.419 slash line with one homer. There’s always been a concern that Stanton, who’s about as physically imposing and chiseled as any player in the game, would begin to break down and deal with muscle strains as he aged, so with him being just over four months away from his 30th birthday, this is another troubling development in what is turning into a lost season for the 6-foot-6, 245-pound slugger.

Luckily for the Yankees, they already have a trio of veteran MLB outfielders in Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner, though this injury is obviously another major test of their depth — they lost Cameron Maybin to a Grade 2 calf strain over the weekend, and they’ve also lost Judge and Hicks for extended periods this season.

Perhaps the most surprising element of this whole situation is that with Stanton being placed on the injured list, the team chose to recall outfielder Mike Tauchman — who has a decent but far-from-spectacular .212/.305/.394 slash line with four home runs in 118 major-league plate appearances this season — rather than bringing back Clint Frazier, who has a far-superior .283/.330/.513 line with 11 homers in 209 big-league PAs this year. Frazier was controversially optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier this month after making a series of high-profile defensive mistakes and seemingly taking his frustration out on the media. Though Yankees outfield coordinator Reggie Willits told NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty on Tuesday that Frazier is “working extremely hard down there” and that “You’ve got to give him a lot of credit for the effort he’s putting in,” the Bronx Bomers’ decision makers obviously feel that he needs further work on his defense before returning to the majors — or would simply prefer to avoid the media circus that would accompany his return if they’ve already decided to trade Frazier as soon as the right deal comes along.