Then Stanton himself and manager Aaron Boone said something about it being a possibility.
Now? Well, Boone revealed that experiment is nixed for spring training with just over a week of action remaining.
Wouldn’t a couple of innings out there when the games don’t matter do Stanton some good in terms of getting re-acclimated?
Boone apparently doesn’t think so, even though Stanton’s played just 82 games on defense since the start of 2018. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to risk injury before Opening Day, but if the plan is to have Stanton play some defense to start the year, wouldn’t t make more sense that he’s prepared for regular season action?
If you’re a Yankees fan, this has to make you feel as if we’re probably not going to see Stanton in the outfield at all. Either that, or we’ll believe it when it happens.
This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it doesn’t support that narrative that Stanton would be eased off his full-time role as designated hitter. Many fans aren’t thrilled that the team is paying him $218 million to be glued to that spot in the lineup, but that just might be what happens given his proneness to injury.
Wouldn’t the team consider it a bigger injury risk if — after just 10 games in the outfield since the start of 2019 — he’s thrown into full-speed regular season action in April?
Based on all the “precautions” this team has taken over the last few years, this one seems the most bizarre, especially after Stanton’s torrid postseason and new workout regimen he adopted over the last few months.
And when you consider Jay Bruce is likely making the roster and Brett Gardner will be right there with him on the bench, there’s even less of a reason for the Yankees to risk having Stanton play the outfield and potentially hurt himself when the year begins. The Yankees will have five outfielders without Stanton, so don’t expect to see him out there unless it’s absolutely needed.
If the Bombers have all the flexibility in the world to use him out there during the spring and opt not to, that tells us really all we need to know.