The time has come.
In fact, the time has long since come.
The Yankees need to play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield this season.
Randy, Jaime, and Rohan talked about this on the podcast, but I’ll expand on it a bit here. I’ll start by mentioning the potential downside that Stanon could get hurt. But, as the guys said, his injury history is rooted in baserunning and swinging, not fielding. Unless the Yankees know something we don’t–which may be true–there seems to be only a slight injury-related case for Stanton not playing the outfield once or maybe even twice a week.
Last weekend’s series against the Phillies was the most glaring example of why they need Big G in the field every so often. After a hot series against the Twins, Stanton amassed just one plate appearance in the Philly, after and before off days. I’d imagine it’s hard for any hitter, no matter how talented, to stay in rhythm that way. And while the Phillies series was a recent example, this move is long overdue.
Given the struggles the Yankees have had from their left and center field spots this year, this move should’ve come sooner to help stabilize the lineup. If the ream is willing to play Aaron Judge in center, they should be willing to play Stanton in right.
Freeing up the DH spot at least once a week gives the Yankees a chance to (half or full) rest Judge and maybe even get the best of both worlds with their catching duo: Gary Sanchez’s bat and Kyle Higashioka’s glove. This will also help them ease Luke Voit back in when he returns from injury; he can get a DH day while Stanton plays right and Judge shifts to center.
Should Stanton play four to five games a week in the field? No, probably not. But can he handle one or two? I absolutely think so.