Sunday, May 23, 2021

Is it a coincidence that the Yankees' best streak of the season happened without Giancarlo Stanton?

The quick answer - all you Giancarlo buffs: 

Maybe yes, maybe no. 

Let's do some old-fashioned, by-the-book, forensic analysis. 

Since Stanton went on the IL, ten days ago, following Tampa's blowout 9-1 win, the Yankees have gone 7-2, winning their last five and keeping pace with the Redsocks and Rays. (Boston has won four in a row, the Rays - uh-oh - nine.)

In that period, the Yankees have used four DHs:

Luke Voit: 1-7.
DJ LeMahieu: 0-4.
Gary Sanchez: 0-4.
Aaron Judge: 7-16, two HRs. 

Overall, the Yankee DH's are a combined 8-for-31  - .259 - not far below Stanton's .282 average for the season. Of course, before tweaking his whatever, Giancarlo had gone on a tear and was leading the team in RBIs (before Judge this week passed him.)  

But without Stanton as everyday DH, Aaron Boone could give various members of the lineup a half-day rest. Over the course of a seven-month season, a half-day here and there can make a huge difference. With Stanton as DH, the Yankees have no flexibility.  

But but BUT... this recent streak has little to do with the DH. It has hinged on the Yankee starting rotation, which masterfully shut down the Rangers and (thus far) White Sox. The Yankees twice won without scoring three runs, and with anemic batting averages in the bottom of the order.

Yesterday, Mike Ford homered while playing 1B. Were Stanton the DH, rather than Voit - who received a half-game rest - Ford would not have played. 

By resting Judge as DH, the Yankees have given LF Miguel Andujar a few more at-bats, and he has shown signs - fingers crossed - of breaking out. (Clint Frazier? Not so good.) If Judge were RF those four games, Andujar would have continued to rot on the bench; he might have even been returned to Scranton.

With Stanton out, Tyler Wade has received more playing time, and he also seems to have finally secured a place on the roster. 

Listen: A five-game streak is too small a sample size to judge any player's value. But here's a painful realty: The Yankees apparently plan to use Stanton as DH through the year 2028.  

I've said this before: The Yankees should play Stanton in LF and - damn the toll on him - make him a full-time war horse. At 31, he's too young to be coddled. It's too soon to become a fulltime DH. His best year came in the NL, when he played defense. A veteran lineup - which the Yankees will always have - needs a flexible DH slot. It's too early to make Stanton into a dugout kewpie. Play the guy. And if he gets hurt - well, what difference does it make? He's already getting hurt. And turns out, without him, we didn't fall apart.

Okay, some will say Stanton's defense is too rancid to play LF. Clearly, he'd have to improve. He'd have to take flies, he'd have to work on throwing - all that stuff that baseball players are supposed to do. Late inning defensive replacements would be common. And at times - such as the playoffs - he would be the DH. 

Soon, maybe today, Stanton will return from the Injury List. Of course, his bat will help. But the last five week should remind us - it's all about pitching, pitching, pitching... and if we get it, we can win without Stanton. I say, let him play.


TheWinWarblist said...


ranger_lp said...

Taillon pitching

Unknown said...

No. Not a coicidence.

Anonymous said...

Good breakdown. Totally agree about having him play the OF part time to free up the DH slot. The big thing facing the team right now is who can they get to replace Hicks. Ideally long term.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

The greatest concern with Hicks is him recovering before the end of the season. No doubt they'd bench Andújar in the wild card game for the brilliant lefty bat (and defense) of Hicks.


Anonymous said...


He's been out for long periods with far less. This is big time surgery. I can't imagine him returning this year. Then again, I'm wrong a lot.

In an ideal world who ever they get pulls an Urshala and flat out wins the job through superior play both in the OF and at the plate,

Doug K.

JM said...

I've grown to like the big lug over time. But he should play the outfield. I mean, Andujar is playing left, and he misjudged a fly the other day (time has no meaning, I can't recall the exact day) that prompted the YES crew to state that he's flat-out "learning to play the outfield." Which he is. And if we have a guy with a learner's permit out there, Stanton is fine in the field. I mean, he's only 31, he can still learn. He gets injured reaching for the shampoo, so it's no big risk.

It's great to see the rotation performing like it has. You know how some players need the hot weather before they come around? I think this whole team is like that. April was too cold, and they played like it. Of course, that doesn't bode well for October, but it's a long way until then.

The only dark spot is Taillon. The guy might still regain his form, but so far, he's the experiment that shouldn't have escaped the lab. Still, who do we have available that's a lot better? King? Anyone? Bueller?

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Ranger, I was thinking the same thing. Baseball is so fucking predictable.

ranger_lp said...

@JM...Severino will be coming back soon...early part of summer I read...

Dantes said...

Stanton’s defensive metrics were above average in Miami. Making him the dh never made sense, it certainly hasn’t saved his quads.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yeah, Taliesen will have to be replaced, methinks. He's off to another great start today.

Alphonso said...

Good thought. But it WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

The good ship DH Stanton has sailed.

13bit said...

Duque, this is a great question and I was going to post something similar earlier, but I got distracted by a fly or something and forgot about it.

BUT - and this is essentially what I had been planning to regurgitate onto this holy blog earlier - the ONLY time the Yankees get interesting and viable for years now is when there is a tear in Brian's grand plan. In other words, when one of his high value moron super players goes down, the universe - I won't presume to say the J*J* god - say "oh hell, we can have some fun now. let's show them what it would be like if Cashman were actually gone."

When someone like Stanton goes down, it's a disruption in the universe, a blip in the Matrix, a high-speed gas bubble in the colon - basically, SHIT CHANGES. BRIAN'S PLAN GOES TO CRAP, AND THE YOUNG GUYS CAN START TO FLOWER. And remember, even though flowers grow well in shit, they don't smell as good...uh...I should shut up now, but YES, emphatically, on your initial post.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Stanton can still rotate as the DH and LF. Look, he isn't any worse than Andujar. We still need his bat in the lineup. Alternating Stanton and resting him once a week will keep him fresh.
Wade's improvement is coincidental to Stanton's absence. It has to do with Odor and Torres being out for long stretches. He's playing more. But....he will sink to his lw batting aveage over the long term.

Kevin said...

Too bad General Patton wasn't the GM..... 'You will run, and you will field, and maybe you'll get hurt. Get your ass out there! I'm not knocking Stanton at all. That risk averse, ass-covering Cashman is ruining Stanton's career. The man's is too young, and is NOT full of stitches (face excepted) to sit on his ass. He needs to run, twist, turn, and keep the muscles supple. I liked a number of changes that Cashman helped bring in (like keeping "leaks" to a minimum). But now it's time to move him upstairs, and bring in somebody from outside the organization for some fresh ideas. Does anyone know what Levine and Trost do (outside of payoffs) for the team?

Anonymous said...

Play Stanton in left and mothball Frazier and Andujar? Sheer genius, if you're a masochist.

Anonymous said...

I still say the best position for Stanton is on the delivery list, as in, find someone dumb enough to take him, even if we have to pay his entire damn contract, and ship him out. Whether at the trade deadline, over the winter, whenever, ASAP. Get some prospects for him and replenish the farm system.

As someone else has said before, Stanton is a redundancy on this team. A lineup full of sluggers, and then you add another slugger, you figure they'll slug even more, right? Nope, it doesn't work that way.

The Hammer of God

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