Funny How No One is Talking About Giancarlo Stanton Anymore
Posted on May 15 2018
With big contracts come big expectations. It’s just the nature of professional sports. If you get paid a lot of money to do something, fans expect you to do it. When you don’t, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when they express their displeasure.
That was essentially the justification for Yankees fans booing their team’s prize addition,
Giancarlo Stanton, when he struck out five times in his Yankee Stadium debut back on April 3. He hit his first home run the next day (but also struck out three times).
So, for the time being, he was forgiven. That is, until he struck out five times in a game once again a few days later (April 8).
The hate was strong in the days following his second five-K game. The word ‘overrated’ was bantered about quite a bit. Everyone and their mother thought they knew what was wrong with the young slugger. In a nutshell, no one had anything good to say about him.
But since he was playing poorly, that should come as no surprise-- right? In that case, should the opposite be true?
If it should, the love has not been reciprocated as Stanton has steadily picked up his game since early April. He ended the month with 40 strikeouts to his name, but ten of them came in just two games. That number still isn’t good.
But at least he’s not leading the league in strikeouts (Texas’ Joey Gallo holds that honor as of May 13 with 57). Stanton has 55 while Aaron Judge has 54.
His batting average was a dismal .167 back on April 8. After going 4-4 Sunday against the Oakland A’s, his average is now .252, just 15 points below his career average. But batting for average is not why people come out to see Stanton play.
As it turns out, that aspect of his game has picked up somewhat as well.
With a solo-shot Sunday against the A’s, he has ten home runs to his name this season. But what makes the accomplishment unique is that with Stanton hitting No. 10, the Yankees have four guys in their lineup with at least ten home runs to their names in the first 40 games of the season.
That has never happened in the history of the organization. It hasn’t happened since the Texas Rangers did it back in 2003.
For the Rangers, it was Rafael Palmeiro, Carl Everett, Juan Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez. For the Yankees, it’s Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
"Look, we have a really good lineup," manager Aaron Boone said (via ESPN). "I just love the way they go about it."
With the offense heating up and the pitching staff playing well, the Yankees are the proud owners of the best record in baseball (along with the Boston Red Sox), 28-12.
So—what happened with Stanton? What got him going? Well, as it turns out, the Yankees just need to have him hit against lefties as much as possible. As of Sunday’s 4-4 game, he is hitting .457 against lefties. He’s also hit seven of his ten home runs against them.
But he’s hitting .185 against righties.
“We’re naturally supposed to hit better against lefties,’’ Stanton said via Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “It’s getting there. Everything is still new. I haven’t been to every park. There are no excuses, but it is still new stuff. Make new adjustments, new routines as they come. Just keep pushing.’”
Stanton’s name will get some attention because he is a key member of one of baseball’s best teams. But overall, he is not getting near the amount of attention now that he is playing well as he did when he was struggling.
Is it right? No. Typical? Absolutely.
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