Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees return timeline is coming into focus

Giancarlo Stanton’s rehab from a strained left hamstring won’t begin this weekend, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the injury is improving after the outfielder/DH underwent scans Thursday.

“He’s on the mend, the way we expected him to be,” Boone said after the Yankees’ 3-1 loss to the Orioles in the Bronx.

Boone said the injury is “almost” completely healed and rehabilitation could begin “hopefully early next week.” Stanton has been out since April, as has third baseman Josh Donaldson with a strained right hamstring.

Donaldson began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.

He went 1-3 at third base in six innings.

This is Donaldson’s second rehab stint since going on the injured list in early April. The first one was clipped after Donaldson tweaked the shipping wings.

The latter is expected to last through at least the weekend before the Yankees review his status and decide if he can join them on their upcoming trip to Seattle (Monday-Wednesday) or Los Angeles (Friday-Sunday).

Giancarlo StantonRobert Sabo for the NY Post

Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendinitis) also transferred his rehab assignment to SWB on Thursday, with the right-hander pitching a scoreless inning in his third rehab outing.

He has been out of spring training and is expected to need at least one more rehab outing before the Yankees are ready to bring him back. The earliest he is eligible to withdraw from the 60-day IL is Monday.

With Jose Trevino still out with a strained left hamstring, Ben Rortvedt got his second start since being called up from SWB to catch.

“He’s played really well,” Boone said before the game. “We’re happy with how he’s integrating (with the pitching staff).”

Ben Rortvedt celebrates with Jimmy Cordero after getting out of the sixth inning in the Yankees loss.Ben Rortvedt celebrates with Jimmy Cordero after getting out of the sixth inning in the Yankees loss.Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Rortvedt walked in his two plate appearances and was removed for another lefty swinger, Jake Bauers, in the eighth.

Boone said Trevino is doing “pretty well” in his recovery and has started running, though no return date has been set.

Kyle Higashioka is in a 1-for-15 funk in which he has eight strikeouts, so it’s no surprise Rortvedt gets the start. In his other start, at Cincinnati, Rortvedt had a pair of hits, including a double.

Carlos Rodon threw again on Thursday, but there is no set timetable for his Yankees debut.

The left-hander, sidelined by back discomfort after suffering an elbow strain in spring training, could begin throwing on a mound this week, according to Boone.

Right off the bat, Randy Vasquez is expected to start Friday in what would be his MLB debut, replacing the suspended Domingo German, who returns to action Monday in Seattle.

Boone said German, who is serving a 10-game suspension for violating MLB’s sticky substance rules, threw a simulated game in Tampa on Wednesday.

Using Vasquez allows the Yankees to push Luis Severino back a day, starting Gerrit Cole on Sunday.

After the game, the Yankees optioned reliever Nick Ramirez to Triple-A to make room for Vazquez. Ramirez gave up a hit and committed a fielding error in one-third of an inning Thursday.

The Yankees’ left field situation is as bleak as ever.

Greg Allen became the fifth player to start in left field over the team’s last seven games, joining Bauers, Aaron Hicks (who has since been designated for assignment), Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Oswaldo Cabrera.

Regarding the Hicks move, team president Randy Levine said, “It shows that Hal Steinbrenner listened to his baseball people and their recommendations. The priority is putting the best team on the field and taking care of the money, that’s my job.”

Hicks has yet to clear waivers to become a free agent, so it’s unclear where he might land.

“He’s not the first player to come to New York and not have as much success as he would have liked and he won’t be the last,” Levine said.

Mayor Eric Adams was at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to introduce a law that would allow New York sports venues to hold raffles for charitable purposes during sporting events, including the Stadium and Citi Field, as well as Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center. Levin said he expected it to take effect by July.

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