Yankees’ slugger may end up playing some outfield after all

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on at the end of the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

During the offseason, the New York Yankees as an organization had decided that slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has suffered multiple lower-body injuries in the last couple of years, will be the primary designated hitter going forward.

That will still be the case according to reports, but there might be a slight tweak in the Yankees’ plans, as they now appear more open to the idea of their slugger playing some games in the outfield.

It may be a good idea for the Yankees to have Stanton out there on the field with some regularity, as he is an outfielder by trade and could be an emergency option there in the event of a rash of injuries.

Stanton, who is currently 31 years old, was seen fielding fly balls in the Yankees’ spring training complex in Florida along with the rest of the outfielders: Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, and others.

“I don’t want to be completely resigned to him just being a full-time DH,” Boone said to MLB.com. “I think the more he can continue to stay athletic and be an option on defense, I don’t think it’s out of the question. Ultimately it might be something that actually does help him stay more healthy.”

The Yankees want to keep him as an option for the outfield

He hasn’t played the outfield regularly since he was wearing a Miami Marlins uniform in 2017, when he was out there for 149 games.

However, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t athletic enough to at least serve as an emergency outfielder for the Yankees.

With the Yankees, he played 73 games in the outfield in the 2018 season, and was limited to 13 in 2019 due to injuries. He didn’t put on a glove for the 2020, as the handful of contests he took part of came from the DH spot.