Home News Giancarlo Stanton’s strikeout-heavy start not concerning Aaron Boone yet: ‘The juice is...

Giancarlo Stanton’s strikeout-heavy start not concerning Aaron Boone yet: ‘The juice is there’



PHOENIX — With a 1-2 count and Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen on the mound, Giancarlo Stanton waved at a slider well outside the strike zone during the fourth inning of the Yankees’ 7-0 loss on Tuesday.

On video, the pitch looked like a ball out of Gallen’s hand. Such things are easier to see on replay than they are in real life when in the box against a Cy Young finalist. However, the moment felt representative of Stanton’s season thus far.

While the former MVP homered during the Yankees’ season-opening series in Houston, Stanton entered Wednesday tied for the American League lead with 11 strikeouts over 21 plate appearances. He was hitting .150/.190/.350 over five games.

“No,” Aaron Boone said Tuesday when asked if he’s worried about Stanton. “I think he’s healthy. The life is there. The juice is there. It’s just a matter of getting him going. And even when G is at his very best, sometimes the outs aren’t always the prettiest. But as long as he’s healthy and firing, I feel like the bat speed and everything’s where it needs to be. It’s just about getting on time.”

With the Yankees playing a getaway game in Arizona on Wednesday, Stanton was not in the lineup.

His next action will come at Yankee Stadium, where the home fans are hoping for a serious turnaround. Not just from Stanton’s first week of 2024, but from his last two seasons as well.

Stanton, limited to 101 games by an early-season hamstring strain, hit just .191/.275/.420 with 24 home runs and 60 RBI last year. He’s slashed .200/.284/.440 with a 99 OPS+ since 2022 began.

Tired of missing time due to lower-body injuries, Stanton revamped his offseason routine and showed up to spring training in leaner shape this year.

“Be a baseball player again,” Stanton previously said when asked what he wants to get out of the adjustments. “I just needed to be more mobile. A lot of setbacks kept me not moving the way I’d like to be.”

So far, Stanton has been able to stay on the field, and he’s looked a bit nimbler on the bases. But while he finished spring training on a strong note, it remains to be seen if the traditionally streaky slugger’s new physique will lead to improved performance at the plate after two down years.

For what it’s worth, Boone isn’t worrying just yet.

“I think the physical tools are still there to get it rolling,” the manager said. “It’s just sometimes you got to live with that little bit of up and down with him as he’s finding it.”

REHABBING RELIEVERS

Boone provided a few updates on some rehabbing relievers before Wednesday’s series finale.

McKinley Moore (knee bursitis) has been throwing bullpens since the end of spring training. Meanwhile, Lou Trivino (Tommy John) is “well into his bullpens,” Boone said.

Scott Effross (Tommy John/back surgery) has started to throw bullpens as well.

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