By Ryan Gaydos
The New York Yankees have played 16 games in the 2018 regular season. The team is still clearly trying to figure itself out, but have maintained an 8-8 record. The world is not burning down, but you wouldn’t have known that if you took a look into the Yankees fanbase the last week or so.
Much of the ire has been directed at superstar slugger, and reigning National League MVP, Giancarlo Stanton. The former Marlins outfielder is hitting a measly .197/.293/.409 with three home runs and 29 strikeouts, including two games with five strikeouts, this season. Stanton has heard it from the fans and the ruthless New York media.
I am here to tell you that the world is, in fact, not burning down. Stanton is going to get a go at the fourth spot starting with Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Aaron Boone announced. Aaron Judge will bat second and Didi Gregorius will hit third. A radical move, right?
The hope is that it will take some of the pressure off Stanton with the hot-hitting Judge and Gregorius in front of him. Stanton has struggled, but with a power hitter in this world of baseball there are definitely going be some games where he’s going to produce a ton of strikeouts.
Stanton, through 16 games last season in Miami, wasn’t doing a ton better. He only had five home runs and was hitting .267/.348/.533. Let’s give Stanton more time to adjust to some American League pitching and New York in general. Remember, he’s played in Miami for all of his career and never had to deal with bitter April months like this month has been.
Over his career, Stanton has produced solid numbers in the fourth slot. He’s hit 55 home runs and slashed .261/.351/.524 in 961 plate appearances at No. 4. I want to see what he can do with some legitimate hot bats around him before starting to question his mechanics.
Let’s not blow the whistle on Stanton and let’s not fire Boone just yet. I am more than willing to take an entire season to swallow whatever happens with this team rather than small sample sizes and you should too.