It was only a matter of time before Giancarlo Stanton went down with another “strain.” This time, it was a grade 1 calf strain that could limit him until Opening Day. The New York Yankees are prepared for him to miss time, though, with plenty of reserve talent waiting in the wings.
It’s not too early for us to forget the minor-league team that helped the Yankees to 103-wins in 2019. Given “The Machine,” DJ LeMahieu played a big part in the offense’s success. The bullpen also pitched stellar baseball for a majority of the season, while the starting rotation struggled to remain healthy.
Now, the Yankees are without James Paxton for several months and Luis Severino for the entire 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. Stanton’s recovery should be 7-10 days if Google’s timetable for a grade 1 calf strain is correct, but he might stub his pinky toe and miss five months, spontaneously.
However, Stanton’s absence opens the golden gates of survival for Miguel Andujar, who’s looking to switch positions after Gio Urshela cemented himself on the hot corner last season. While Andujar will likely remain as a reserve option on the hot corner, skipper Aaron Boone is keen on developing the young offensive threat at other defensive positions.
The Yankees have been testing Andujar at different spots:
The outfield is one of the spots Andujar will be looking to find a home, and Stanton is gifting him the opportunity. The 2018 runner up for Offensive Rookie of the Year spent a few innings in left field against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, catching one daunting fly ball that could have been problematic.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) February 26, 2020
“I thought he did well,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “That first ball, Gleyber was waving his hands and Miggy took charge like he should and called him off. When he came out of the game at the end, I said, ‘Nice going today, I really liked that.’ It’s good to see him out there and to start getting that experience.”
The positive performance Andujar enjoyed from the win over Washington will help him in his quest to earning playing time on defense. I anticipated Miggy and Stanton rotating in the outfield to mitigate injury concerns, but it seems as if Giancarlo can’t avoid picking up injuries regardless.