Yunel Escobar on track to make Grapefruit League debut on Monday

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Yunel Escobar suffered a Grade 1 left oblique strain earlier this month, but Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports that he’s on track to make his Grapefruit League debut on Monday.

Escobar was originally slated to play in a minor league game on Sunday, but he’s progressing quicker than expected, so he’s skipping that step. He participated in full pre-game activities this morning, including taking batting practice and fielding grounders at second base for the first time since March 5.

Escobar, who was acquired from the Athletics over the winter, is making the transition to second base this spring. It’s believed that his extra work at the position in the early part of camp is what led to the injury.

While things are looking up for Escobar, third baseman Anthony Rendon is still nursing a minor MCL sprain in his left knee and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return to game action.

Yankees halt Giancarlo Stanton’s rehab due to calf tightness

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There was some thought that Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton would soon be activated from the injured list. Stanton has been out since the beginning of April due to biceps and shoulder injuries. It will be a little while longer.

The Yankees announced on Wednesday that Stanton’s rehab has been halted due to tightness in his left calf. Stanton was scratched from Tuesday’s rehab game with High-A Tampa due to tightness around his left calf and knee, so this news didn’t pop up out of nowhere.

Stanton recorded a pair of singles and seven walks in 15 trips to the plate in the only three games he played this season, all against the Orioles. Durability has always been a concern for the 29-year-old, but he managed to play in 159 games for the Marlins in 2017 and 158 for the Yankees last year. He’s in the fifth year of a 13-year, $325 million contract originally signed with the Marlins.