It has been a bit of a struggle for the offense of the New York Yankees in recent weeks.

Take a look at their series against the Toronto Blue Jays, for example. Yes, they were able to salvage the final game of their four-game series, winning 4-2 on Sunday. That said, the four runs they scored Sunday doubled their total run output for the series, and followed up a game on Saturday in which they were shut out.

With the team in the middle of a slump, one of New York's most daunting offensive weapons is nearing his return to the lineup. The expectations have never been higher for Giancarlo Stanton, but, is that really fair?

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Is Giancarlo Stanton New York's "Last Hope" in 2022?

Reports began to circulate on Twitter on Monday that Giancarlo Stanton is not only nearing his return to the New York Yankees, but in theory, could return to the lineup as early as Thursday of this week.

Here's one tweet suggesting as much, from ESPN's Marly Rivera:

Having Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup would be a breath of fresh air for a struggling offense. Though he's having a down year from a batting average perspective, Stanton's power numbers are still very respectable. His 24 home runs in 80 games rank third on the team, behind Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo.

More importantly, Stanton's return to the lineup would supply some relief to hitters like Rizzo, Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres, all of whom have seemed to struggle immensely without Stanton present to provide protection in the middle of the batting order.

Simply put, the Yankees need Stanton to return to the lineup and produce quickly. He has the opportunity to truly be a savior, of sorts, for New York in the short-term.

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While the Yankees will welcome Stanton back with open arms, it's important for fans to keep their expectations a bit tempered when he does return to the lineup. Stanton is a great power hitter, but he's only one person. If he returns, and the Yankees still struggle, it's irresponsible to criticize Stanton alone.

If I were to offer my opinion, I think Stanton's return to the lineup will get the New York Yankees back-on-track...eventually. It will take a while for him to re-acclimate to Major League pitching, and it will take the rest of the lineup to re-adjust to having him in the mix.

Once he gets comfortable, and the team gets comfortable around him, however, it could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Aaron Boone and the Bronx Bombers.

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