While the Yankees find themselves with a gap in their lineup once again, they should not be surprised by Giancarlo Stanton’s latest injury.
Given Giancarlo Stanton’s ability to answer the call for only forty percent of the team’s regular season games, Yankees fans have felt short-changed for some time now.
Lost to the Yankees for at least the next six weeks, Stanton condemns his latest misfortune as “unacceptable”, and according to the New York Daily News, he is taking the setback especially hard. This is not the first time Stanton has opened up expressing the sadness accompanying his inability to stay healthy.
“The one thing I can say in Giancarlo’s case is I don’t question his professionalism and his commitment to doing all he needs to do to stay healthy and to be healthy,” Boone said. “Giancarlo feels that responsibility to this team and this organization to be the great player that he is, Judge in comparison to their treatment of Stanton.
How The Yankees Misplayed Stanton
You might recall that only two years ago Stanton and Judge were in lockstep with each other – to the point where it became a running joke and wagering in Las Vegas in predicting how many times the two sluggers would appear in the Yankees lineup at the same time.
Similar in size and stature to Stanton, Aaron Judge has become a steady rock in the Yankees lineup, seldom appearing halfway in and halfway out as the team’s designated hitter.
In contrast, the Yankees give lip service to using Stanton in the field, despite the fact Stanton performs admirably in the field with a noticeable extra step in his demeanor.
Athletes who are the caliber of Judge and Stanton need, much like a thoroughbred racehorse, constant motion and on-the-field work that complements the needs of their bodies.
Simply jogging to and from his position in the field eighteen times a night presents Judge with the opportunity to cover well more than a mile.
Additionally, and especially during the Yankees’ colder months of the baseball season, the constant activity allows the blood to flow warmly and consistently throughout a game.
So, it is causing me to wonder if the Yankees are doing themselves or Stanton any favors by restricting him to the dugout, save for the four or five times he strolls to the plate for an at-bat.
Nor should there be any cause to wonder why Stanton pulled up lame stretching a single into a double with stop-and-restart action.
If you go back to look at Stanton’s history of injuries, it’s not like they occurred by crashing into the outfield wall, or through any rigorous challenge to his body.
Instead, they are a litany of pulls, strains, and twists that stem from inaction as opposed to strenuous exercise during the course of a game.
For some, these same types of injuries can be traced to a player’s lackluster and lackadaisical approach to pre-game preparation. But in Stanton’s case, the Yankees resoundingly refute any sort of criticism in that regard.
It’s also illuminating to observe the production the Yankees are getting from Aaron Hicks and to envision Stanton playing and plugging that hole in the lineup daily – while providing Aaron Boone with the opportunity to rest regulars like DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and even Judge.
At this juncture, Stanton is expected to be out for at least six weeks (video here)
In the thirteen games Stanton has played this year he has contributed four home runs and 11 RBI. More than any other Yankees except Judge, Stanton changes the face of the team’s lineup as a threat to any opposing pitcher.
With each passing year, Giancarlo Stanton has eased himself into a comfortable position wearing the Yankees’ pinstripes. Over his five seasons with the Yankees, he is by far and away the team’s most powerful and consistent player during the postseason, tallying 11 home runs, 24 RBI, and a .963OPS.
In sum, the Yankees need to turn Giancarlo Stanton loose. Put him in the outfield, and let him run in the sun before age prevents him from doing so in the latter stage of his contract.