The career of Yankees DH/outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been notable for home runs — 305 of them in 1,162 career games — and injuries — six trips to the IL over that same span. Just three times in 10 seasons has Stanton played in 150 or more games. Not counting Stanton’s rookie season of 2010 (he wasn’t called up until June), he’s played in fewer than 125 games in five of nine seasons.
Speaking of his health woes, Stanton this spring was shut down by a Grade 1 calf strain suffered after just two plate appearances in Grapefruit League play. Had the novel coronavirus shutdown not pushed back Opening Day from March 26, then Stanton might have opened the season on the IL. On that point, though, there’s encouraging news:
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 23, 2020
We don’t know when the preseason ramp-up period will begin again, but when it does Stanton — barring further setback — will presumably be ready for it. By extension that means Stanton could be in the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup, whenever such a thing comes to pass.
Stanton, 30, is coming off a 2019 season in which he was limited to just 17 regular season games because of a biceps strain followed by a knee strain. Stanton had just 72 plate appearances during the 2019 regular season and played in five more games during New York’s postseason run. The 2017 NL MVP hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 homers in 2018, his first season in the Bronx.
The Yankees originally acquired Stanton from the Marlins prior to the 2018 season. He’s signed through 2028 and still owed more than $200 million on the $325 million extension he signed with Miami in November 2014.
The Yankees are coming off a 2019 season that, while highly successful in the regular season, was compromised greatly by an absurd number of injuries. Coming into 2020, the Yankees made significant changes to their training staff, but the spring of 2020 was likewise notable for injuries. In addition to Stanton’s calf injury, Luis Severino and James Paxton underwent Tommy John surgery and shoulder surgery, respectively, and outfielder Aaron Judge was lost to a rib injury.