The New York Yankees big offseason acquisition has done a lot of striking out over his first month in pinstripes and not a whole lot else.
And the natives appear to be getting restless.
Yankee fans booed Stanton during a five-strikeout game in his Yankee Stadium debut, and a few of the faithful let the power-hitting slugger hear it again Thursday when the Yankees hosted the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Earn your pinstripes,” one person screams as Giancarlo Stanton steps in. “Do anything,” another chimes in.
Stanton is hitting .197 with three home runs, 10 RBI and 29 strikeouts in 16 games this season. He has been especially horrible at home, hitting .102 with 20 Ks at Yankee Stadium. Those 20 strikeouts are the most in a hitter’s first eight home games since 1900, per ESPN.
The 2017 National League MVP did go 1-for-3 Thursday with a single and didn’t whiff so perhaps he’s trending in the right direction.
The power hitter who had spent all of this young season hitting third will bat down a spot at fourth when the Yankees host the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.
Stanton hasn’t hit well at home since joining the Yankees in the offseason. He’s batting .086 (3-for-35) with 20 strikeouts through his first eight games at Yankee Stadium.
According to Elias, those 20 strikeouts are the most for a hitter through his first eight home games during the modern era, which began in 1900. The 17 strikeouts Stanton had through his first eight home games in 2010 with his old team, the Miami Marlins, is tied for second on that list with three other players who happened to accomplish that feat since 2002.
Although he has spent the bulk of his career batting third, Stanton has had 961 plate appearances batting cleanup. The only spot he’s hit in more often has been third.
Stanton has a .261 career batting average in the fourth spot. Of his 270 career home runs, 55 have come with him batting fourth.
“He’s one at-bat away from getting it locked back in,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Stanton on Tuesday. “And I’m confident that once he gets it rolling, it’ll be a juggernaut. I want him just for peace of mind to get going a little bit and kind of settle into the rhythm of the season, but long-term, he’s too good for it not to start happening.”
Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is off to an amazing start to the 2018 season. He hit three home runs, including one to lead off the game against Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani. Here are all three:
Through 15 games this season, Betts is hitting .389/.493/.796 with seven doubles, five homers, 13 RBI, 19 runs, two steals and 10 walks against six strikeouts. The stat-sheet stuffer is leading the AL in runs, doubles, average, OPS and OPS+ (246). He finished second in AL MVP voting two years ago, sixth last year and is now off to an even better start.
It’s a bit surprising given that he plays for the Boston Red Sox, but it’s probably fair to say Betts is underrated.
As part of this very discussion on CBS Sports HQ (watch live) Wednesday, which you can see above, former Marlins president and current CBS Sports HQ analyst David Samson dropped a fun nugget on us. He said back when Betts was a prospect the Marlins tried to get him by dangling players such as Hanley Ramirez and … Giancarlo Stanton. That’s fun. He said Betts was untouchable on the Red Sox’s end and now we can see why.
This had to be around the 2014 range. Remember, the Marlins signed Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million extension after the 2014 season. Betts debuted at age 21 in the majors during 2014, hitting .291/.368/.444 in 52 games.
What a difference a few weeks makes, too, because I feel like before this season started, many people would have said they’d rather have Stanton. Take a look at their numbers from last year, for example:
Now with Stanton hitting .197/.293/.409 with 29 strikeouts in 66 at-bats, we might have a little mind-changing, especially with the contracts. You saw Stanton’s deal above. Betts is making $10.5 million this season and is in his arbitration years through 2020.
The only thing not being stopped right now involving Giancarlo Stanton is the angry reception he continues to generate from the fans in the Bronx.
The boos were back out in force on Tuesday night, when Stanton completed a hitless series (0-for-7) against his former team, with two more strikeouts in the Yankees’ ugly 9-1 loss to the Marlins at the Stadium.
“Pretty simple. Worry about the positive things, even if it’s not very many things. That’s all you can do. You worry about that, you’re gonna keep twirling down,” the still-slumping Stanton said when asked how he’s blocked out the boos aimed at him through the Yanks’ laggard 8-8 start. “Keep working. It’s early. Not too many (positives), but you’ve got to own up to it and understand and find a way to get better to get out of it.”
The reigning NL MVP – obtained from Miami during new owner and former Yanks captain Derek Jeter’s winter fire sale — clubbed two home runs on Opening Day in Toronto, and he’s hit .323 in 31 at-bats away from the Stadium. But Stanton now is batting just .086 (3-for-35) with one homer, three RBI and 20 strikeouts so far in the Bronx, stranding four more runners on base on Tuesday.
And the fans regularly have let him know about their displeasure.
“That’s a matter of time and just getting settled in,” Aaron Boone said of the home/road disparity. “We’re 16 games in and in baseball that’s a very small sample.
Giancarlo Stanton has received the brunt of the fans’ negative reaction towards the team.
“If it was flipped I don’t think it would necessarily be that he’s hitting at home and not on the road. I think that’s just baseball and he’ll get it rolling here and eventually the league will pay for some of his early struggles.”
Boone has to try something here to get Stanton going and the first-year manager admitted he “might flirt with” moving him down from the No.3 spot in the lineup later this week against Toronto, “but not too far.”
Perhaps one consideration would be to split Aaron Judge and Stanton by flipping the latter slugger with lefty-swinging Didi Gregorius and moving Stanton into the cleanup hole, with Gary Sanchez behind him.
“He’s one at-bat away from getting it locked back in and then the last thing you want is him down in the order getting pitched around. He’s too premier of a player and an at-bat away in my eyes from locking it in, Boone said. “So I might juggle with the top five or six, but as far as moving down significantly? No.
“I see a guy who’s really focused. Obviously he’s frustrated. You want to go out there and perform, especially when you’re MVP, and obviously he expects a lot from himself. I think his focus is tremendous and I’m really confident that the work he’s putting in…I’m really confident that once he gets rolling, it’ll be a juggernaut. I don’t worry; I want him just for peace of mind get going a little bit and just settle in and get into the rhythm of the season. But long-term, he’s too good for it not to start happening.”
Stanton insists his confidence hasn’t waned, and his track record is such that he usually clubs homers in bunches once he finds his power groove, even if that’s not of much consolation currently.
“Shoot, track record don’t matter in the moment,” Stanton countered. “You understand what you’ve done, but if you’re in there with a lack of confidence you might as well go and sit down anyways.”
Of course, the $325 million slugger is far from the Yanks’ only problem presently. They lead the league in errors with 17, including two more on Tuesday. Their staff ERA is 4.68, including 6.62 for starters Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray. And others, namely Sanchez and Neil Walker, also are off to slow starts offensively.
Still, Stanton has received the brunt of the fans’ negative reaction. Asked if he’s at peace with that, he sighed and replied: “At peace? Yeah, I understand.”
He also has to understand there’s only one way to change it.
NEW YORK – As Giancarlo Stanton‘s struggles at Yankee Stadium persist, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday night he may entertain the possibility of moving the slugger down in the batting order in hopes of jumpstarting his bat.
“I might flirt with splitting different guys up and stuff, but not moving him down too far,” Boone said.
Stanton has batted third in each of the Yankees’ 16 games this season, including in Tuesday night’s 9-1 loss to Stanton’s former team, the Miami Marlins. In the eight games he has appeared in at home, he has hit .086 (3-for-35) with 20 strikeouts.
According to Elias, those 20 strikeouts are the most for a hitter in his first eight home games during the modern era, which began in 1900. The 17 strikeouts he had through his first eight games as a member of the Miami Marlins in 2010 are also tied for second on that list with three other players who all happened to accomplish that feat since 2002.
After striking out twice Tuesday, Stanton was booed loudly by fans who have grown frustrated of his performances in the Bronx.
On the road, Stanton has been markedly better, batting .323 (10-for-31) with three doubles and seven RBI in those eight games.
Asked if he could come up with a reason for the home-road statistical disparity, Stanton simply said: “No.”
If a change to the Yankees’ lineup comes, it likely will arrive during the team’s four-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays that begins Thursday following an off day Wednesday. Boone said any changes that come during the series would depend upon how the Blue Jays’ pitching matchups line up with what the Yankees want to do offensively.
Boone said he might alter the first five or six spots in the lineup, but don’t expect him to move Stanton into the bottom tier of the order.
“He’s one at-bat away from getting it locked back in, and then the last thing you want is him down in the order getting pitched around,” Boone said. “He’s too premier of a player, and an at-bat away, in my eyes, from locking it in.
Although Stanton struck out twice in Monday night’s 12-1 win over the Marlins – he was the only player in New York’s starting lineup who didn’t have a hit in the game – he launched a long foul ball in his first at-bat of the game that would have been a massive homer had it stayed fair. The third-deck shot had Yankees fans audibly gawking.
That was the last he impressed spectators during the brief two-game series against his old teammates.
Stanton understands why he’s hearing boos at home, but added that it’s been “very simple” to block them out.
“Worry about the positive things, even if it’s not very many things,” he said. “If you worry about [the boos], you keep twirling down.”
What positives have there been so far?
“It’s early, so not too many,” Stanton admitted. “But you’ve got to own up to it and understand and find a way to get better. Find a way to get out of it.”
Boone still believes Stanton will snap out in a matter of time.
“I’m really confident the work that he’s putting in,” Boone said. “And I’m confident that once he gets rolling, it’ll be a juggernaut. I want him just for peace of mind to get going a little bit and kind of settle in and get into the rhythm of the season, but long-term, he’s too good for it not to start happening.”