Yankees: How far should Giancarlo Stanton be dropped down in the order?
After Tuesday’s night’s embarrassing loss Yankees manager Aaron Boone discussed dropping the struggling Giancarlo Stanton in the order. Stanton is now 3-35 at home wearing the pinstripes so a move down could be something that helps jump start him.
It was somewhat surprising to see the Yankees skipper openly discuss moving Stanton down in the order but he did make it clear that it wouldn’t be anything too drastic.
Here are Boone’s comments per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com
"“I might flirt with splitting different guys up and stuff, but not moving him down too far.”"
Boone added that if any changes were made it would only be done by tinkering with top six guys in the lineup. That makes sense because Stanton’s track record shows that he’s way too good of a hitter to be batting in the bottom third of the lineup and Boone thinks he close to breaking out.
"“He’s too premier of a player and an at-bat away from, in my eyes, locking it in,” the manager said. “I might juggle with the top five or six but as far as moving him down significantly, no.”“The last thing you want is him down in the order, getting pitched around.”"
Personally, I think this would be a smart move by Boone and a way to ease some of the pressure off Stanton’s shoulders. I wouldn’t bat him as deep as sixth but I would place him fifth to flip-flop him with Gary Sanchez. Sanchez has struggled himself batting .190 in the early going, but as of late he’s caught fire and looks like he’s ready to go on one of those runs where he can carry this Yankee offense. Over his last seven games, he’s batting .409 with two home runs and 10 RBI.
By switching Sanchez and Stanton, the lineup will still split up the righties and lefties with Didi in the clean-up spot and Aaron Hicks right behind Stanton in the six hole. With the Blue Jays coming to town with three right-handers on the mound to begin the four-game set it’s another reason for Boone to consider a change.
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Once Stanton inevitably gets going you could always switch things back to the way they were but really it shouldn’t matter if the lineup is clicking on all cylinders.
Sanchez was the three-hitter for most of last season and that’s where he would hit for most lineups in baseball but with this Yankees offense, they have the luxury of trying different looks in the heart of their order.
If Stanton can get going in the five hole he’ll have just as many opportunities to drive in runs as he did in the three hole and it would really deepen this Yankees lineup. The bottom three in the order is still struggling, but if Stanton get’s hot it might not matter whether they produce or not.
Just trying to get through the top six will be difficult enough for opposing pitchers because of the number of pitches they take and the power numbers they can potentially produce.
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Regardless of the batting order, the Yankees need to get Stanton going as soon as possible. With the Red Sox already six games ahead in the standings and the Blue Jays three in the loss column, there is a slight sense of urgency even if it is only April. There’s no such thing as a must-win series in April, but this is a huge four-game set for the Yanks and Stanton in front of their home crowd.