Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton continues to struggle mightily against righties

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 22: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 22: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Yankees continue to roll and win at a rapid pace despite not much help of late from their superstar offseason acquisition Giancarlo Stanton. Last year’s NL MVP has yet to truly break out in pinstripes mostly because he’s struggled more than ever against right-handed pitching.

In Stanton’s incredible 59 home run season ago he was a better hitter against left-handed pitching which is the same case so far in his first year with the Yankees. However, he still hit a respectable .270 against righties with an astounding 44 home runs compared to .323 with 15 bombs against southpaws.

This year his numbers against lefties are absurd, hitting .370 with seven home runs in only 54 at-bats. Against righties, Stanton is hitting an abysmal .199 with only four home runs even though he’s had close to 100 more-at bats facing right-handers with 146. If not for his destruction of left-handed pitching in limited at-bats Stanton number’s would obviously look much worse and he’s already leaving a lot more to be desired through his first two months with the Yankees.

Right now Stanton looks like he’s in the midst of another extended slump after he was really putting together a solid May. He’s hitting .264 with six home runs this month but over his last five games, he’s 2 for 21 with nine strikeouts. The sample size of at-bats isn’t very big but just the nature of his at-bats have not looked good at all. They’ve been non-competitive and he’s been overmatched against right-handers.

On Monday Aaron Boone opted to give him the day off against Astros ace Justin Verlander which definitely came as a surprise. The Yankees brought in Stanton this offseason for matchups like those against some of the leagues best arms and it seemed like Boone gave him the day off just to save him from another possible 0-4 with three strikeouts.

Tonight Stanton will be in the lineup against the lefty Dallas Keuchel after he recently took him deep twice when they last faced off in Houston. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him do so again because that’s what we’ve come to expect from Stanton against lefties. Although against righties, it’s been the complete opposite so there has to be cause for concern.

Is Stanton’s stance to closed?

I don’t know what the issue is but just from watching it might have something to do with how closed his stance is. With that set-up, he sees the ball perfectly against southpaws but when a righty is on the mound that kind of stance seems to work against him.

Now obviously this was the same stance he used for most of his MVP season a year ago so it’s clearly worked for him in the past. However, lately and for much of this season he’s truly looked lost at times and opposing right-handers are all attacking him the same way. They elevate with the fastball early in counts to get ahead and then they put him away with breaking balls low and away.

Much like teammate Gary Sanchez, who is also in a tough 1-20 stretch right now, neither one of them has been able to lay off those sliders and curveballs low and outside of the strike zone. That was the case in Tuesday night’s comeback win when they faced the nasty Charlie Morton.

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Sanchez hasn’t looked like himself either for much of the season but unlike Stanton, if you make a mistake and hang one to him he’ll still make you pay. His average is down but he at least has nine home runs against right-handers compared to Stanton’s four.

Stanton has yet to pounce on many mistakes and seems very jumpy at the dish against right-handed breaking balls. He’s out in front on everything soft and late on the fast stuff and even when he gets those mistakes we’ve seen a lot of foul balls or pop-ups that usually would be home runs when he’s going well.

That’s all about timing which is exactly what his manager attributed his recent struggles too.

Here’s Boone on Stanton per Randy Miller of NJ.com:

"“I just don’t think from a timing standpoint he’s ever really got it completely locked in like I know that he will at some point.”"

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I agree with Boone and believe that a hot streak has to be coming, but given how bad he’s looked against righties you wonder if he’ll be able to be more consistent once he does finally get going. He’ll face righties a heck of a lot more than lefties from here on out so if a turnaround is going to come it has to start there.

Let’s just hope it comes sooner than later for Stanton because with each passing day Yankee fans are becoming more and more impatient with his struggles. For most players, .245 with 11 home runs and 28 RBI isn’t terrible, but on this team and in this city a player of Stanton’s caliber has to be better than that.