Giancarlo Stanton has been one of the New York Yankeesâ€™ best performers in spring training play. He is slashing .333/.440/.571 with a homer, five RBI, and a 1.011 OPS, solidifying his position as one of the most dangerous hitters on the team.
As it turns out, he is a pretty competent fielder, too, at least before his string of injuries in 2019 and 2020. He is fully healthy now, so it makes sense to assume, since he is still on his prime, that he is now physically able to take the outfield every now and then.
Itâ€™s something that the slugger and Yankeesâ€™ manager Aaron Boone have discussed: Stanton occasionally playing the outfield during the season even though he is the primary designated hitter.
And while the plan seems to be on, the Yankees are in no rush to play him defensively during spring training.
â€œDuring the season — thatâ€™s the plan,â€ Stanton said on Saturday to MLB.com. â€œAs the discussions went on, me and Boonie talked. Iâ€™ll be needed [in the outfield] later in the first month or two. So now isnâ€™t as important as to just be ready to go a few weeks in.â€
The Yankees are shelving the plan for the duration of spring training
Per Bryan Hoch, the designated hitter explained that the Yankees decided that having him making a start or two during Grapefruit League play wouldnâ€™t serve much purpose.
â€œIf I go out there now and then I donâ€™t go out there for three or four weeks, itâ€™s the same as making sure Iâ€™m ready to go during practice [before a regular-season game],â€ Stanton said.
The last time Stanton played the outfield with some regularity was 2018, when he started 37 games in right field and 35 in left for the Yankees.
It doesnâ€™t matter if he is going to be an outfielder or DH: Stanton is ready pick things up in the battersâ€™ box.
â€œIâ€™m ready to rock,â€ Stanton said. â€œThese are the times of spring when [youâ€™re thinking], â€˜Can we get things going here?â€™ So itâ€™s good. Just refining any last bits of the swing and the timing and all that to be ready to go. Itâ€™s going to be fun.â€