Giancarlo Stanton no longer expected to play any outfield for Yankees in spring training


Initial plans were for Giancarlo Stanton to get some in-game reps in the outfield during spring training, but it seems like plans have changed.

Stanton, who is primarily seen as the team’s regular designated hitter heading into the 2021 season, told reporters on Saturday that there are no longer any plans for Stanton to make an appearance in the outfield before Opening Day.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen during the regular season.

“During the season, that is the plan, but as discussions went on, me and Boone talked about how I’ll be needed later in the first month or two, so now isn’t as important as being able to go during the season…a few weeks in,” Stanton said.

The Yanks see Stanton in mainly a DH role as a precaution to preserve his health, as the slugger has played in just 41 games over the past two seasons. He appeared in just 18 games in 2019, and shortly after returning for the ALCS and hitting a home run in game one, was injured again and lost for the series. Last year, injuries caused him to miss more than half the season before returning in time to make a big playoff impact, smashing five home runs and boasting the team’s most valuable bat in October.

Given Stanton’s offensive value, it is important for the Bombers to keep him healthy, even if it means regularly penciling him in as the DH. But with other outfielders like Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge susceptible to injury, they will likely need half days off throughout the season, so any innings that Stanton could provide in the field while staying healthy would be a big boost. He feels he can provide that, even without any in-game reps this spring.

“If I go in there now and then I don’t go out there for three or four weeks, it’s the same as making sure I’m ready to go during practice,” Stanton said. “So that’s the thought to that.”

Stanton has a home run and a 1.011 OPS in 21 at-bats so far this spring, picking up where he left off last October. The 31-year-old is ready to get to Opening Day and begin what will hopefully be a healthy 2021.

“Ready to rock,” Stanton said. “These is the time in spring where it’s like ‘can we get things going here?’ It’s good to refine any last bits of the timing in the swing to be ready to go.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

Follow WFAN on Social Media
Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Twitch

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports