Brian Cashman says Michael Pineda is taking “baby steps”

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave an update on Michael Pineda’s setback-filled recovery from a strained back muscle, telling Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger that the rehabbing right-hander “is going through baby steps.”

Pineda last pitched in April, first serving a suspension for pine tar usage and then hurting himself while pitching on the side during the suspension.

According to Cashman the Yankees are now somewhat hopeful that Pineda can return in August, although given the inaccuracy of their previous timetables that doesn’t mean a whole lot at the moment.

Kuty reports that Pineda has just now started a throwing program, making 25 tosses from 60 feet over the weekend.

Giancarlo Stanton to make return from IL this week

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Per The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said outfielder Giancarlo Stanton may be activated from the injured list on Wednesday. Stanton will “certainly” be activated on Thursday.

Stanton, 29, has appeared in all of nine games this season due to knee and calf injuries. The calf injury struck first during the opening week of the season. He wouldn’t return until June 18, then played in a whopping six games before a strained PCL in his right knee sent him back on the IL. But if there was ever a time for Stanton to make his triumphant return, it’s right before what the Yankees hope is a deep postseason run.

In the nine games Stanton has appeared in this season, spanning 38 trips to the plate, he has hit .290/.421/.419 with a double, a homer, seven RBI, and four runs scored.