Put Him In, Coach

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.

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4 Comments

  1. Brian M

    I think they would stick Gittens in center before playing Stanton in the OF

    • Cary

      The first thing I will say is that with the season hinging on how the Yankees play over the next month or two, I would think solidifying the defense would be the first priority and a close second priority would be to put the best offensive team you can put on the field game in and game out. The Yankees are not doing either of those things right now consistently.

      Stanton should definitely be playing in the outfield. Obviously they need to ease them into it I guess but I think many managers would be playing Stanton is an everyday outfielder and my guess is he would not get it injured anymore or less. There’s a lot of advantages to running out to the outfield nine innings a game, getting a few plays in out there playing toss etc etc. He was a plus outfielder in Miami there’s no reason he wouldn’t be a plus outfielder here in New York.

      Clint Frazier is a below average defensive outfielder and he’s proving that this year. He’s also not hitting consistently and he absolutely deserves a demotion to get himself back on track. The Yankees aren’t playing Frazier much either now that he’s lost his starting job to Miggy.

      Miggy meanwhile is an average OF come to find out & he has a plus arm to boot. Judge is a plus outfielder so the best defensive alignment would have Stanton in RF, Judge in CF (for now) & Miggy in LF.

      If the Yankees can make a trade for a good defensive CF, Miggy could DH & with his arm I think he could play both corners which gives the Yankees flexibility to rotate people in and out of the DH.

      One thought instead of making a trade might be to bring Amburgey up & use him like they used Tauchman. Amburgey has played CF a lot in the minors. Not sure why the Yankees are taking so long to get this roster fixed.

      I have nothing against waiting for Frazier to break out of his slump but right now every game counts double so waiting for him to do it at the major league level is really a stupid move by New York’s leadership. Let him do it in Scranton.

  2. Esteddardban Florial

    I agree, Matt. Stanton is a 31 year old freak of an athlete and they treat him like an 80 year old geriatric ward patient in a wheelchair. He can stand in the outfield for 2 hours and not self destruct. They’ve clearly told him to slow jog around the bases, which is fine, and you tell him the same in the OF. If he gives up some hits so be it. Take him out in the 8th inning with a lead for defense. RF would be better for him than LF because of the short porch. They need his bat in NL parks.

    • Larry

      Let him earn his pay. He’s getting rusty sitting on the bench for all this time. He played well while in Miami.

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