The New York Yankees were healthy for the first five weeks of the season … until they weren’t. Fans are familiar with how this goes. Unfortunately, Giancarlo Stanton is the latest potential ailing player.
It all started with Joey Gallo tweaking his groin, which then turned into an extended absence after he also came down with an illness last week. Then Tim Locastro hit the IL with a back strain. OK, not bad.
Then Chad Green went down for the year after it was discovered he needed Tommy John surgery and it was revealed Aroldis Chapman was dealing with Achilles soreness. Josh Donaldson hit the COVID-IL (but doesn’t have COVID). DJ LeMahieu was out of Tuesday night’s lineup due to a wrist issue that required an MRI.
And now it seems Stanton injured himself on a swing during his second at-bat of the game and was pulled in the seventh inning.
It all happened so fast, too. Stanton was DHing, so the Yankees waited until his next turn in the order to pinch hit Estevan Florial for him. And that’s when fans started freaking out a bit.
Not too long after, the YES broadcast revealed it was a calf injury and manager Aaron Boone told reporters after the game that Stanton would be getting an MRI on Wednesday.
Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with a calf injury
Stanton missed most of 2020 (he played in only 23 games out of 60) due to a calf strain, and the soft tissue injuries are what have worried fans most about players of his physical stature (same with Aaron Judge, who also missed time in 2020 with a strained calf).
While the Yankees just became the first team in MLB to 30 wins, if they’re without Stanton for the length of an IL stint, it’s really going to test them with the manner in which the offense has been performing as of late.
The Yankees offense has largely been good, but the unit has dipped into 2021 territory from time to time, which was evident against Toronto, Texas and Chicago this month. By no means the end of the world, but losing your second-best hitter (by far) who has contributed 15 runs scored, 11 homers and 35 RBI in the team’s first 40 games is going to hurt (assuming he gets shelved), especially with Aaron Hicks still not being a serviceable player, DJ LeMahieu witnessing a steep slide and dealing with a wrist issue, Anthony Rizzo now fairly ice cold (his average and OBP dropped from .290 and .402 to .232 and .350 over the last month), among other issues.
For example, now where does Hicks bat? He’s seen far too many reps in the leadoff spot and sixth hole this season. Joey Gallo moves up in the order when he’s back from the COVID IL? More playing time for Estevan Florial, which has sadly been tough to watch up until this point?
This will once again place the pressure on Judge, who has risen to the occasion, and force the spotlight onto guys like Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, considering how clutch they’ve been so far in 2022.
Another wrinkle? Stanton has the most hard-hit balls in the league … and more than EVERY single team, including the Yankees. It goes:
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Everyone Else
So there’s going to be a serious dip in power if nobody else can pick up the slack … which will be hard to do because Stanton is an inimitable player.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the 2019 Yankees offense, which was able to hum along regardless of the magnitude of a potential loss. This is a new-look roster still in the early stages of figuring out how to maintain consistency. And this could be their first big test.