Is Yankees’ $98 million slugger doing enough to keep his job?

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, giancarlo stanton
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees clinched a solid 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday evening, showcasing their offensive prowess and strong pitching performance from Carlos Rodon. The team racked up 13 hits, including a notable home run that contributed significantly to their win.

Stanton’s Struggles and Momentary Triumph

Amidst the team’s overall success, Giancarlo Stanton, a slugger who has been inconsistent this season, managed to shine briefly by securing two hits and an RBI. His highlight of the game was a 427-foot solo home run to left-center in the third inning. Despite this success, Stanton’s performance has been a topic of concern over the past three years, with his role in the team increasingly being questioned.

The 34-year-old veteran, no longer viable as an outfielder, has been relegated to the role of designated hitter. Last season, he batted just .191 with a .275 on-base percentage, marking the first time his weighted runs created plus (wRC+) fell below 100.

Despite efforts in the offseason to address his flaws and recapture some of his previous MVP-level performance, Stanton’s struggles have persisted into this year. Over the first 37 games, he has posted a .236/.287/.471 slash line, with nine homers and 21 RBIs. While his home runs have kept him in the lineup, his career-high strikeout rate of 34% and a declining walk rate of 6.7% are concerning, with his on-base percentage remaining below 30% for the third consecutive year.

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, giancarlo stanton
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Future Considerations for the Yankees’ Outfield

The impending return of Jasson Dominguez and the potential promotion of Spencer Jones pose significant questions regarding the allocation of at-bats among the Yankees’ outfield prospects. The most straightforward solutions might involve benching or releasing Stanton to make room on the roster.

This decision could become even more pertinent next offseason, as both Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo will become free agents. If the Yankees were to lose both, Dominguez and Jones could naturally fill the void, potentially keeping Stanton in his current role.

Despite the latitude the Yankees have afforded him, Stanton’s future with the team hangs in the balance. If he enters a slump without the saving grace of his home runs, his presence in the lineup could become more of a liability than an asset.

The Yankees’ best hope is that he maintains his power-hitting capabilities and manages to improve his on-base percentage. At least in clutch situations, Stanton has demonstrated effectiveness, boasting a .323 batting average and a .400 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position, proving that he can still be a valuable asset when it counts.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: