Things could get ugly with Giancarlo Stanton and the Yankees
For most MLB teams, finishing a season over .500 is a pretty good achievement. But then again, most teams aren’t the New York Yankees. Ending a year 82-80 may be fine for the Cincinnati Reds or Detroit Tigers, for example, but for the Bronx Bombers, it’s an utter failure.
That’s what happened to the Yankees in 2023. They had their worst record in almost 30 years and didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. While there were a number of factors that played a role in their dismal season, perhaps the most glaring one was the play of Giancarlo Stanton.
When the Yankees traded with the Miami Marlins for Stanton after the 2017 season, it seemed like a coup – he had just posted the best season of his career and took home the NL MVP award. Perhaps the most notable statistic from that season is this number: 159. That’s how many games Stanton played that year. While he’d had a few injury-plagued seasons up to that point, his playing in nearly every game must have made the Yankees feel like they won the lottery.
While Stanton didn’t exactly take the Big Apple by storm in his first season with New York, he did have a solid year and again showed his durability by playing in 158 games. Since then, however, he’s never come close to playing a full season. In fact, out of a total of 708 regular-season games he could have played with the Yankees, he has only managed to suit up for 391 of them.
Stanton has proven that he can’t be counted on and even GM Brian Cashman admitted as much recently at the winter meetings, saying, “I’m not gonna tell you he’s gonna play every game next year because he’s not. He’s going to wind up getting hurt again more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game.”
And when Stanton actually does make it out onto the field, he’s doing very little to help the team. He’s coming off the worst season of his career, one in which he didn’t even crack the Mendoza line. He didn’t fare much better in 2022, which is why it’s understandable that Yankee brass is getting frustrated.