The New York Yankees struggled this year, going 82-80 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Now the question is, how do they get better for 2024?
One concern for the Yankees is outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. The question is, can Stanton stay healthy to play, and will he struggle? Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman weighed in on Stanton on Monday.
"We try to limit the time he’s down," Cashman told Gary Phillips of The New York Daily News. "But I’m not going to tell you he will play every game next year because he’s not. More likely than not, He will wind up getting hurt again because it seems to be part of his game. But I know that when he’s right and healthy – other than this past year – the guy’s a great hitter and has been for a long time." Stanton missed 61 games this year because of a Grade 2 hamstring strain. In the 101 games he did play, he struggled, hitting .191 with 24 home runs, 60 RBIs, a .275 on-base percentage, and a .695 OPS. His batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and slugging percentage of .420 were the worst of Stanton’s career. Stanton has said that he’ll be working on getting better this offseason.
There'll be a lot of changes," he told reporters after the season ended. "I've talked about how bad the year has been, so not much more to touch on that. But there will be a lot in the lab in the offseason."
So what should the Yankees do with Stanton? First thing, they should stop trash-talking him. Stanton doesn’t need Cashman or anyone else in the Yankees organization trash-talking him. Next, they should ensure he’s healthy and try to keep him healthy. Finally, they should help him get better. It's obvious that Stanton struggled this year, and we know he can do way better. Maybe the Yankees' new hitting coach, James Robson, can help Stanton with his speed and everything else.
“We’ve gotta get Stanton up and running again," Cashman said at the GM Meetings via The Daily News. "He’s injury-prone. We all have lived and known that, but he’s never not hit when he’s playing, and this year is the first time that that’s happened."
If the Yankees can’t get Stanton going again, they should look at trading or releasing him. That would be the Yankees best option if Stanton isn’t healthy and/or performing. Stanton has four years left on his contract, and it would be a waste if he’s injured or not performing well. Expect the Yankees to trade or release Stanton next year if he’s dealing with injuries or not acting like he should be.
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