The Yankees will be suffering from a power outage when the season opens. But this team is a whole lot more than Giancarlo Stanton – and maybe even better.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman didn’t hesitate when asked about the status of Giancarlo Stanton and the likelihood he will be in the lineup in Baltimore on Opening Day.
“That doesn’t mean I’m right, but I would say it’s better to assume he won’t be ready. But he will be, in theory, ready in April at some point,” Cashman told the New York Daily News.
Whew. Get a load of that one – in theory – Stanton will be ready in April at some point.
Or maybe he’ll be “ready” to play by May – or July. Who knows. It’s only a theory, after all.
Yankees: It All Began Innocently Enough
The Yankees bought a very expensive lemon from Derek Jeter and try as they might, they can’t seem to squeeze even a drop of lemonade from injury-prone Giancarlo Stanton.
Brian Cashman, even for all the good he has done for the Yankees, failed miserably on this one.
Read it and weep now but there it was staring right at him – a big red flag showing that only once in Stanton’s six years with the Marlins did he play in 150 games or more.
Recall the haze within the hysteria of Jeter’s fire sale that eventually would see the Marlins exporting Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, and J.T. Realmuto.
But the ultimate prize was Giancarlo Stanton, and it was Cashman who moved in like a stealth bomber to scoop him up as other teams stood by in awe and with the dread of facing Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez consecutively in the Yankees lineup.
Live and learn, perhaps? But we do notice that Brian Cashman engaged tepidly when the sweepstakes for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were underway.
Hate To Say It But Who Needs Him
The truth of the matter is, who cares how many games Stanton plays this year? He is surplus in the Yankees lineup, just as he was the day Cashman acquired him.
Another truth is that Giancarlo Stanton was born with a body to be a tight end in the National Football League – not to be a professional ballplayer.
Pour over his career injuries to date, and we find a knee injury and then an abdomen strain that sucked 39 games from his 2012 season. In 2013, it was a shoulder, thigh, and ankle injuries that cost him 46 games.
Last year’s list included a left biceps strain, left calf tightness (suffered during a rehab assignment in May), and a right knee sprain that caused Stanton to miss 73 games. And now, we have a Grade 1 strain of his right calf.
All these strains. What’s up with that?
And how do the Yankees or Stanton explain how a player can get injured when he’s rehabbing an utterly different injury? Bad luck? Maybe.
Yankees Depth Trumps All
But you know what – it shouldn’t matter. Neither should it matter that Stanton is a stand-up person who works hard and does all that he can to put himself in a position to help his team.
What does matter though is Giancarlo Stanton will not be on the field when Gerrit Cole throws the first pitch to open the Yankees 2020 season. That is the proverbial bottom-line.
Fortunately, Brian Cashman has seen to providing Aaron Boone with players who, just as they did last year, are equipped to fill in for Stanton.
A mix and match cast Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, and possibly Estevan Florial are all on standby waiting for the call from Aaron Boone. Midseason, Aaron Hicks is also expected back, and this will free up Brett Gardner to play left field as well.
And it would be nice to see more of the print now devoted to “updates” on Stanton’s health going instead to the players the Yankees are counting on.
It’s only March, and the Yankees have more than enough outfield depth to cover the loss of Stanton. And who’s to say they might not even be a better team?