Giancarlo Stanton suffered a low Grade 2 quadriceps strain in ALCS Game 1 and played only in Game 5 after that, but Brian Cashman declined to take him off the roster because there were no better starting options and removing Stanton would have made him ineligible for the World Series.
Stanton could have been replaced by Luke Voit, who also was hurting and had surgery on his core after the season ended. Mike Tauchman, Cashman said, was at about 85 percent. He would have been used only in the World Series had the Yankees gotten there.
“Obviously, if this was in-season, [Stanton] would have been put down, but the postseason, it’s all a different category and he wouldn’t be available for the World Series,” Cashman said. “Right or wrong, I made a determination to keep him in play for the potential next stage. I weighed that as being more valuable than replacing him with somebody else on the roster to come in and sit on the bench.”
Cash mum on Chapman
Cashman wouldn’t say if he has been in talks with Aroldis Chapman’s agent in an effort to steer the closer away from opting out of his contract. The Yankees could add more to the back end of his contract and extend his services.
“It’s a sensitive aspect of it,” Cashman said. “I don’t think it’s healthy for me to openly talk about whether we intend to have discussions, whether discussions are currently happening.” For the same reason, he declined to discuss whether Zack Britton could close if Chapman does not return.
Formula not a problem
Cashman said the Yankees’ formula of power hitting and a power bullpen wasn’t the reason they were ousted by the Astros, perhaps indicating that the team will continue down that road next year and elect not to add an ace-type pitcher.
“This team had a lot of strengths,” he said. “We had some serious struggles with runners in scoring position and that ultimately decided the outcome of the series . . . Pitching is not what cost us the series with the Astros.”
Ellsbury in limbo
Jacoby Ellsbury, who hasn’t played in two years and is in the midst of a seven-year, $153 million contract, doesn’t appear to be an option for next year, either.
“It’s hard to say based on how things have played out,” Cashman said. “Right now, he’s not someone in a position health-wise where I can answer anything in the affirmative.”