After being laid up with what people thought was a quad pop, but what was actually ankle soreness, Stanton DH’d and destroyed baseballs in the series opener on Tuesday, carrying over his momentum from his return during the Tigers series. His first appearance in the outfield since before the injury came on Wednesday, however, and the behemoth’s rust was evident.
Stanton’s gloopy job on a Carlos Correa bloop was rendered important by the fear of the right-field wall he exhibited a few plays later on a Gio Urshela shot. He again shied away from the barrier on an Urshela fly ball two innings later.
Do the Yankees, who fell 8-1 and flopped for the first time in weeks, win the game if not for Stanton’s miscues? Unlikely; old foe Chris Archer shut them down. But Stanton was given an opportunity to prove he was back to normal, and looked less than such.
After the dust had settled and Manny Bañuelos had mopped it up (the dust), Stanton held court at his locker, furious at the discussion which he had wrought.
Despite a prodigious blast in Game 1 of the set, he knows New York. This’ll now be the dominant narrative until he flips it. And with Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks still getting outfield reps (admittedly hot over the last week, but…), he needs to hold down a corner as often as he can.
Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton ‘pissed’ at himself over outfield gaffes
Now, here come all the fine folks out of the woodwork ready to banish Stanton to the bench because of one funky game, ignoring that his best work at the plate has come when he’s been allowed to play either right or left field. It’s true! For over a calendar year!
One clunky game does not a bad fielder make, and plus, the Yankees have given Gallo a much longer leash than that as he tries to figure out, once and for all, that right field and left field are both just … fields.
Stanton has earned more chances in the outfield to ignite his bat and keep himself engaged. Perhaps not Thursday night, though, in the immediate wake of some embarrassment.
When the Yankees return to the Bronx to take on the Cubs, Stanton should be back in right for the opener, sliding Aaron Judge to center once again (and propping up his free agent value another notch or two).
The best version of the Yankees features their two giants roaming the outfield grounds, even though you’d have a hard time selling that to viewers of Wednesday night’s incompetence.