Giancarlo Stanton thrives in his new Yankees reality
It took the Yankees 102 games this season to put Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield.
Twenty-two games later, Stanton is still healthy, thriving at home plate and giving the Yankees a lot more flexibility in the lineup at a time they need it most and have jumped to the playoff position with nine straight wins.
“I think he was looking forward to getting out, but I also think it probably went better than he expected,” manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday, ahead of the Yankees’ series final. against the Twins on Sunday was not postponed by Hurricane Henri.
“I like him. I think that makes him more athletic. Most of the games he’s been in, we managed to get him out after six or seven innings. He played a capable off-field, he did. all the games. he moved well [Saturday]. Well played the balls against the wall and have good hitters. He’s based a lot on base and does some big runs.
In 22 games since Stanton first returned to the outfield – he started 10 games there – he has also tossed a hot bat. He’s hit 0.301 / 0.420 / 0.521 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, 13 walks and 17 strikeouts in that stretch.
“[I’m enjoying it] a lot, actually, ”said Stanton, who went 2 for 4 with a two-run brace in Saturday’s 7-1 win while starting in right field. “I liked getting back into this routine. I’m getting better at flinching on foul balls and so on – haven’t been there in a while so it’s good to feel like I’m in the good old days.
More importantly – aside from staying healthy and avoiding the soft tissue injuries that have hampered him in the past – Stanton’s ability to play on the pitch has allowed Boone to have more big bats in line. Instead of Stanton being locked into the Designated Hitter, as he has been throughout 2020, Boone was able to use the glowing Luke Sees there in two of the last three games, solving the playing time conundrum. de Voit with Anthony Rizzo taking over at the start of the base.
Putting Stanton in right field means Aaron Judge moves to center field, creating another possible injury risk. But it also means the Yankees can roll out a lineup that includes Judge, Stanton, Joey Gallo, Rizzo, and Voit, a formidable row of thumpers for opposing pitchers to pass.
“Like the weight of the roster and the quality of top-to-bottom hitters [improves], you’re not always going to break through the first or second time or even in a given game, ”said Boone. “But the more we can have those batting qualities over and over again, you usually give yourself a chance to break through and have a big inning. They’ve been able to do it here in the last few days. Just a lot of great drummers.
Stanton has now started six games at right field and four at left field this season. He had played exclusively on the right court in Miami.
“But I’ve worked on both sides, so it doesn’t really matter at this point,” Stanton said. “Whatever helps our alignment the best. “
The push to get Stanton in the outfield more often might not have been so pressing without the healthy and productive return of Sees to the roster. The Yankees traded for Rizzo as Voit was on the injured list for the third time this season, but Voit came back and argued his case for the daily hitters, scoring 13 for 26 with 13 RBIs in his last seven games. .
“I’m doing everything I can to make it big,” said Voit. “So it’s a lot of fun. This programming clicks, the boys roll.