Despite being held to one run in the deciding Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees have a formidable offense. Let’s not overreact: they are one of the most explosive batting groups in the big leagues, and they boast top-notch talent almost from top to bottom in the lineup.
And, whenever he was on the field, Giancarlo Stanton was one of the main driving factors behind the Yankees’ offensive excellence. This was evident both in the regular season (.250/.387/.500, .379 wOBA, 143 wRC+) and, especially, in the playoffs (.308/.387/1.038, .542 wOBA, 254 wRC+.)
Stanton put the New York Yankees on his back come postseason time and, in the process, silenced some critics. In just seven games, he hit six home runs and had a .731 isolated power (ISO) mark.
He did it almost exclusively from the designated hitter position. In the last few years, the slugger has been rather injury-prone and the team has elected to protect him. This season, he lost several games due to a hamstring strain, and in the last couple of season, he has been affected by a lot of lower-body ailments.
The Yankees want to protect their slugger
â€œGiven the injuries that weâ€™ve experienced with him thus far, I think it would be a safe bet to focus with him at the DH level,â€ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said according to NJ.com regarding the future position of the powerful slugger.
Stanton, when healthy, is capable of playing a passable left field. However, Cashman and the Yankees’ organization in general don’t want to take any more chances and want him to stay off the field, but in the lineup, as much as possible. The most logical path to achieve that is to make him an everyday designated hitter.
â€œI donâ€™t think heâ€™s not capable of playing the outfield,â€ Cashman said. â€œHeâ€™s very athletic and can clearly handle that position. The workload and maintaining his lower-body injuries I would think would be at risk. I would think that our best strategy would be to deploy him on an everyday basis in the DH role like weâ€™ve been doing.â€