New York Yankees outfielder and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton is not the same player he used to be. That much is clear to anyone who routinely watches the Yankees.
When the team traded with the Miami Marlins for the former MVP before the 2018 season, they were getting arguably the most feared hitter in baseball. He had just come off a season where he hit 59 home runs and was famous for having the highest exit velocity in the game.
Make no mistake, he has given them some good years. Giancarlo Stanton has three seasons with 30 homers in Pinstripes, and could do it again this year, as he has 21 home runs with nearly two months left. But, his batting average has dipped tremendously to just over the Mendoza Line at .205. And, his above-average athleticism is completely gone.
Giancarlo Stanton used to be a better-than-average base runner and outfielder. Now, he’s one of the worst at both in the league. Injuries to his lower half have sapped the 33-year-old of any explosion. And, that was on display in a big way in Saturday’s game against the Houston Astros.
With two outs in the bottom of the third inning and Stanton on second in a 1-1 game, DJ LeMahieu smoked a single into right-center field. Yankees‘ third base coach Luis Rojas waved Stanton around third, but he was thrown out by a mile with an embarrassing effort. Take a look.
WHY SEND STANTON?
THIS TEAM IS SO FRUSTRATING TO WATCH. pic.twitter.com/Ei2EJofIdl
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken2) August 5, 2023
Yikes. A few things could’ve happened here. The first is that this was a truly terrible send by Luis Rojas. The second is that the send by Rojas was pretty nonchalant, and maybe Giancarlo Stanton thought he could cruise home. The worst possibility is that is as fast as Stanton, who according to Baseball Savant has 4th percentile sprint speed, can run.
After the game, which they won 3-1, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Stanton is healthy.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 5, 2023
It does look like Giancarlo Stanton was not hustling, and people were not happy about it.
@Yankees that 3rd inning lack of hustle from Stanton is UNACCEPTABLE
— JimP (@jim32466) August 5, 2023
Stanton is horrible. He is slow… but there was zero urgency or hustle there. ZERO. #RepBX
— Bronx Faithful (@pinetarred) August 5, 2023
Stanton is so freaking slow 🙄
— Todd Irwin (@ToddIrwin1) August 5, 2023
That being said, if Stanton was really producing in the lineup, I doubt people would care much about this incident. But, the fact that he hasn’t been hitting leads to people to be, rightfully, more critical.