NEW YORK – It’s been three months since Giancarlo Stanton stood in the Yankees’ bullpen watching his average drop below .200. I knew I had a lot of work to do during the vacation.
“I can’t be as productive as I am this season, so there have to be changes,” Stanton said on Sept. 20.
Stanton’s plan to improve his performance focuses on regaining his athletic ability, including improving his physical condition. Stanton had some mobility issues last season, especially during the second half, when he reduced his movements on the bases and on defense to avoid lower-body injuries.
“I think you’ll see a smaller Giancarlo,” Bombers manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s always been in great shape, but at this stage of his career, being a little bit lighter would be good for him. I think it’s something he knows he wants to do.”
Stanton, 34, finished his sixth season in New York with a career-worst .191 average, hitting just 24 home runs and driving in 60 runs in 101 games. He suffered a left hamstring strain on April 15 that kept him out until early June. Boone and others were hoping Stanton would catch fire with the bat, but it didn’t happen.
The organization’s frustration became somewhat apparent in November, when general manager Brian Cashman praised Stanton as a great hitter when healthy, but noted that Stanton “will probably get hurt again, because it seems to be part of his game.”
The statement forced Cashman and Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, to meet to clear the air. And with a no-trade clause and nearly $98 million in Stanton’s contract over the next four years, it is beneficial for both sides to maintain a cordial relationship.
However, Cashman’s honesty may provide more motivation for Stanton this season. Neither Boone nor Cashman provided details about Stanton’s regimen this winter.
With Alex Verdugo, Aaron Judge and Juan Jose Soto expected to patrol the Yankees’ outfield – with Gold Glove winner Trent Gresham also on the team – Stanton’s innings in the outfield will be sparse going forward. 2024. As always, Stanton’s biggest impact will be with the bat.
However, Boone noted that Stanton’s plan to lose some weight could help him become “more athletic on the bases and not just as a backup on the field, but as a good option out there. “I think that’s going to be important for him.”
“The only thing I can say is that he works extremely hard,” Boone concluded. “He’s always been a very focused person and player. I would say he’s very focused on making sure he goes out and has a season worthy of Giancarlo. The truth is I think he has a great year ahead of him.”
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