Yankees: Aaron Boone’s latest comments on Gardner and Stanton are concerning


New York Yankees fans are really doing their best not to get wrapped up in any potentially concerning developments or negative news. That’s why everyone looked at Clarke Schmidt’s injury and found a silver lining or two.

But we can’t go too long without fans getting worked up about something. Remember when everyone was freaking out when the team re-signed Brett Gardner because they thought it would affect Clint Frazier’s status as the starter?

Sorry, this is life as a Yankees fan. A lot of things trigger the fan base when you haven’t won a title in 11 years.

And that’s why those speaking to the media really need to be careful with their words. Because now we have some questions in wake of Aaron Boone’s latest off-handed comments.

On Friday, Boone took the podium to speak on a number of topics, two of which were Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. And now we’d like to know what’s going on.

He referred to Gardner as a “regular” — what does that mean? — and said Stanton will be “coming along a bit more slowly” as the first spring training games get under way.

Let’s start with Gardy, because the answer might be pretty simple. Some fans on social media are concerned because they heard the word “regular” and instantly assumed that suggested he was a starter, even though Boone said Frazier won that job last week. The sensible meaning for the term “regular” is someone who will be getting somewhat consistent playing time. If Gardy is the team’s fourth outfielder, that would indeed be a “regular” player.

But given the short-lived outrage about him potentially disrupting Frazier, it probably would’ve made everyone’s lives easier if this had been clarified.

Now, for Stanton…

Why is he coming along at the same pace as Gardner, who didn’t finalize his contract with the team until earlier this week? Why is there any sort of concern with his usage after he finished 2020 completely healthy and on a tear? Why do the Yankees think there’s any sort of correlation with bringing a healthy player along slowly and that player’s long-term health?

Stanton’s soft-tissue injuries aren’t a result of overuse. He’s barely played in two years! And he just had four months off. Spring training is already “slow,” in essence, for a team’s star players. Why does that need to be emphasized with Stanton, especially now that he hopes to play the field a little bit in 2021?

We don’t know, but we do not like hearing that there are already limitations of sorts in place for a guy who needs to be unleashed. We’re not saying have him start every spring training game on both sides of the ball, but we’d love to know the use of holding him back at the onset and how that’ll help anything.

It doesn’t sound encouraging, fans shouldn’t feel good about it at all, but here we are. Whatever the Yankees are doing with Stanton better work. That’s all.