BOSTON — There may be panic in some circles — even though it’s only 10 games into a 162-game season — regarding Giancarlo Stanton’s glacial start as a Yankee, but that doesn’t extend to the general manager’s office.
“Am I worried about Stanton? I’m not worried about Stanton, if you’re asking me that,” Brian Cashman said by phone Monday afternoon. “I’m always wanting us to fire on all cylinders at all times, which is not feasible, but that’s what we aspire to do.”
The Yankees dropped three of four to the Orioles over the weekend at the Stadium. They have alternately fired and misfired in a 5-5 start to a season that continues Tuesday night at Fenway Park against the AL East-leading Red Sox.
The majority of fan frustration has been pointed at Stanton. He is experiencing what many before him have gone through in their maiden voyages in the Bronx — a slow start and some corresponding rough treatment by Stadium fans.
Stanton, whose Yankees debut was a smash with two homers on March 29 in Toronto, heard boos throughout the six-game homestand. That’s because he went 3-for-28 with 16 strikeouts, including a pair of five-strikeout games.
“He’s going through a struggle period right now, which everybody goes through, and he’s had his history of it as well,” Cashman said. “But over time he’ll pop through on the other end, and it’s up to others to pick up the slack. But we’ve had a number of different people struggling all at the same time, whether it’s hitting or pitching. So I think the off day is timely and we look forward to getting back to business, after we regroup, on Tuesday.”
The injury-plagued Yankees will try to do that against a Red Sox team that has burst to an 8-1 start under new manager Alex Cora. Asterisk alert: Boston has played seven games against the Rays, expected to be among the worst teams in the American League, and two against the Marlins, expected to bring up the rear in the National League. Still, the anticipation throughout the offseason was that the long-standing rivals would be slugging it out all season for AL East supremacy, just as they did last year, when the 93-69 Red Sox edged the 91-71 Yankees.
Brett Gardner came up in 2008 and has played in 147 Yankees-Red Sox games, the most of anyone on the Yankees’ roster.
“It’s always a great atmosphere up there,” Gardner said. “I always look forward to it. They’ve got a really good team this year, and I’m sure we’ll be battling with those guys for 19 games. It’ll be fun.”
Aaron Boone hit a home run that will go down in Yankees-Red Sox lore. He has been to Fenway many times since that walk-off blast off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, but never as the Yankees’ manager.
“I’ve been treated really well there,” Boone said. “Since they’ve won as much as they have since ’04, I feel like a lot of the ribbing I get up there is a little more good-natured.”
“I’m sure now that I’m back in uniform,” he said, “it won’t be as good-natured.”
Notes & quotes: Cashman said “the hope” is that Gary Sanchez, who missed Saturday’s and Sunday’s games with a calf issue, will be back in the lineup Tuesday. The team won’t know more until the catcher shows up at the ballpark and is evaluated . . . The Red Sox announced that shortstop Xander Bogaerts has a cracked bone in his left ankle. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list and is expected to be out 10 to 14 days, but the team said he won’t require surgery . . . Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) and Brandon Drury (migraines/blurry vision) saw specialists Monday, but Cashman said an update wasn’t expected by the end of the day.
Giancarlo Stanton is off to a slow start in his first year with the Yankees, which is not totally surprising considering that his March/April career numbers are the worst in the following categories (total of 166 games):