Yankees: Defending Giancarlo Stanton

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Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees – (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Giancarlo Stanton: Fluke injuries or a glimpse into the future?

The overarching feeling among Stanton’s faultfinders is his reliability, thanks to multiple soft tissue injuries he suffered a year ago.

Stanton played in only 18 regular-season games in 2019. A litany of injuries left him rehabbing for practically the entire year. After recovering from torn biceps in June, Stanton would sprain his right PCL a week later. That injury would send his season off the rails.

During his rehab process, Stanton would face several setbacks, including a minor league pitcher hitting him with a pitch, adding another month to a frustrating process.

Still, Stanton fought to get ready for the postseason and made his impact right away. Of course, Stanton wouldn’t be able to build on a strong start to his playoffs, thanks to a rushed rehab process, as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would note after the season.

That fight is something Stanton has carried with him throughout his career. As the author of “Inside the Empire: The True Power Behind the New York Yankees,” Bob Klapisch explored for NJ.com, Stanton had to battle back from what was a life-threatening injury after he took a Mike Fiers pitch to the face in 2014.

Yankees fans don’t give enough credit for his toughness and perseverance. Even with setback after setback, Stanton clawed his way onto the 2019 postseason roster.

Stanton is aware of the situation. His comments after suffering a quad injury early in spring training are a testament to his dedication and passion towards the team’s success.

“It makes it seem that I don’t take care of myself,’’ Stanton said. “It makes it that much more frustrating.’’

Of course, that injury would have sidelined him if the 2020 campaign started out as planned. COVID-19 had other plans and manager Aaron Boone has said Stanton will be ready to play when baseball returns.

The 2020 season and beyond will tell if his health will be a problem in the future but a look through his career shows that the narrative around his health is simply false.

When ignoring his rookie season where he was called up in the middle of the campaign and his 2019 season, Stanton has played in 130 games per season. Judge through his first three full seasons sits at 123 games per year, for comparison.