Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t hid from what has been the worst season of his career.
“Terrible,” the outfielder/DH said Wednesday night of his thoughts when he glances at the scoreboard and sees his batting average.
That number dropped to .188 Wednesday (and his OPS fell to .694) after an 0-for-4 in a 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
“Can’t produce like this season so it’s got to change,” said Stanton, who didn't play in a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays Thursday and is 2-for-39 with 17 strikeouts in his last 11 games.
Stanton, who turns 34 in November and is signed through the 2027 season, did not elaborate on what needs to change this off-season but it is reasonable to guess it relates to addressing his propensity to incur lower-body injuries.
Stanton, a solid and - at times - good outfielder in the first eight seasons of his big-league career with the Marlins, has increasingly become a liability in the field and on the base paths. That has especially been the case this season as Stanton, who missed 43 games this season with a hamstring injury, has had numerous base running issues. Since returning in early June, Stanton has been in protect-mode when it comes to his lower body (he also has a history of calf issues), running at times what seems to be 50-75 percent.
Though many have focused on nights such as Tuesday when Stanton grounded into two double plays, both of which were slow to develop on the left side of the infield, he is known behind the scenes as an obsessive preparer with one of the strongest work ethics on the club. That has been the case since Stanton, who does have 24 homers this season, joined the Yankees before the 2018 season.
“From a hitting standpoint, I think he still has all the tools that have allowed him to be a great player throughout his career,” Aaron Boone said Thursday of why anyone should believe there’s still plenty left in Stanton’s tank to be a productive player again.
“He’s still got unbelievable power, unbelievable bat speed," Boone said. "But with age and with time, even for great players, you’ve got to be able to make adjustments and be willing to change certain things. Not saying he’s got to change a ton of things. That’ll be a conversation that we have now leading into the winter and what’s the best thing for him to do as far the winter, the training methods and how he prepares for spring training.”