The loss of Aaron Judge obviously took a toll on the Yankees’ offense, but the reigning AL MVP wasn’t the only player on their roster who had previously proven his ability to sustain a lineup for extended periods.
Giancarlo Stanton was also one of those hitters earlier in his career — and when he was healthy, with the Yankees — but he’s mostly been looking to regain his timing and hitting since returning from the injured list on June 2.
Stanton entered Sunday night in a doubleheader against the Red Sox batting . 128 (5-for-39) with 12 strikeouts over his first 11 games since recovering from a six-week hamstring layoff.
Those numbers included a 0-for-4 showing with two Ks in the Yankees’ 6-2 loss in their double-sheet opener at Fenway.
“I just need to find my rhythm, catch the ball sooner,” Stanton said between games. “Reps help, but at this time, I don’t have time to take reps just to get them under my belt. I need to [make] effect when I’m there, so I just need to figure that out.”
Stanton hasn’t been the only one who has fallen back on a regular basis since Judge was sidelined with a toe problem two weeks ago. Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and Josh Donaldson also got caught up in the apparent slide.
“They will strike. Big G will hit. Aaron Boone said. “We just have to work our way through it now while we struggle a little bit.”
The 33-year-old Stanton has spent significant time on the injured list in each of the past five seasons since appearing in 158 games his first year in 2018 following a trade from the Marlins.
He has appeared in just 315 of the Yanks’ last 618 regular season games, but Boone called him a “one-of-a-kind hitter” and “as dangerous as they come” when he finds his rhythm.
Boone also said he planned to have Stanton in the stadium on Saturday for the first time since his activation, but with the game over, he kept the former NL MVP as the designated hitter for each of the Sunday games.
Boone indicated that the slacker will likely resume playing the field when the Yankees return home to face the Mariners on Tuesday.
Stanton, who has admitted in past seasons that he believes playing the outfield helps his offensive productivity, added Sunday that such a move would “help the team be more dynamic, so it’s going to be good.”
Boone continued, “I do it now because I think it helps our team, and I love it there. I think it helps him. And I think you guys [in the media] I think it helps him a lot.
“You guys think he goes onto the field and starts batting. He will strike wherever he is, as soon as he rolls. But I think it helps somewhat. I think it’s good for him mathematically. I think it’s good for his health, when he’s able to do that. I think it keeps it more accurate. And I think there’s a hidden benefit to him being out there as well in terms of performance. It all depends on his willingness to do it and being part of the mix.”