Yankees: 3 Players Who Could Struggle in Shortened Season
By Ryan Doyle
1. Giancarlo Stanton
Pressure and health could hold Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton back in 2020.
After spending the last couple of months recovering from a calf injury, Giancarlo Stanton will enter the new campaign relatively healthy and ready for his 2020 redemption tour. Still, Stanton won’t exactly be at 100%. General manager Brian Cashman noted that Stanton is a DH candidate rather than an outfield option to begin the year.
Regardless of that, Stanton has been a slow starter at the plate for much of his career.
When looking at month-by-month career splits, the first month of the season is when Stanton is at his worst. He has the lowest OPS, home run and RBI total in March/April when compared to any other month.
In his first season in New York, Stanton exploded for a pair of home runs in his first game with the Yankees but fell off a cliff with his average hovering around .230 roughly 40 games into the season. While Stanton erupted to begin his 2017 MVP season, that hot start looks more like an anomaly when looking at the rest of his career.
He also enters 2020 with more pressure than any position player on the roster. While demanding Yankees fans may not be in the stands to let their voice be heard, Stanton’s career in pinstripes hasn’t gotten off to a great start.
In 2018, he was a disaster in the playoffs, posting a dreadful .444 OPS in the Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, managing just four hits, zero walks, zero extra-base hits and zero RBI.
In the following season, he played in just 18 regular-season games due to injury, which had fans wondering if the Yankees made the right decision to add his $300 million contract to the payroll.
With all of the pressure on his shoulders, lack of game reps for an entire year, and his tendency to begin the season slowly, Stanton is one of the top candidates on the Yankees to struggle in the 60-game sprint.