Giancarlo Stanton yearning for World Series title with Yankees: ‘We need to get it done’
Giancarlo Stanton is hoping his sixth season with the Yankees has a ring to it. After all, that’s why he requested a trade from the Marlins after his MVP 2017 season. The four-time All-Star during his time in Miami sought a winning situation, and while he has technically found one in New York, he still has yet to capture that elusive World Series title.
The 33-year-old has had some strong postseason performances — 11 homers in 27 career postseason games — after a rocky beginning to his career in pinstripes (he heard the boo-birds during his first home game as a Yankee).
However, with the clock winding down on the prime of his career, the Los Angeles native says a championship is all that matters.
“I need to get it done [win a World Series],” Stanton said Tuesday at George M Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. “But at the same time, we need to get it done. I think it’s a goal for everybody. You put personal mindset, personal goals to it, so of course that’s what I came here for. That’s what I’m here to achieve every year.
“As the years go on the pressure gets higher to get one, so, whether that’s for me personally or the fans or how far away we are from 2009 [the Yankees’ last World Series title] it all comes hand and hand.”
The Bombers are reusing a similar formula to last season with familiar faces all around the diamond. With the exception of inking Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract to form arguably the game’s best rotation, it’s more or less the same team that was swept by the Astros in last season’s ALCS.
Stanton feels unlike last year, this group can accomplish the ultimate goal of winning the organization’s 28th World Series.
“We’re in a good spot,” Stanton said. “It’s the same. It’s very similar. We have all the pieces to get it done. So we’re laying the foundation and understand the ultimate goal is a championship but we haven’t got there. [We’ll take it] one day at a time, we’ll hit bumps ... and we’ll have good times, but [it’ll] all set us up for October.”
A hot topic of conversation every year is whether or not manager Aaron Boone should play his All-Star in the outfield on a somewhat regular basis. There’s no doubt the Bombers’ best offensive configuration includes Stanton somewhere in the field opening up the DH spot to one of the extra infielders whether that be Josh Donaldson, Gleyber Torres or DJ LeMahieu.
However, the injury history of the 2022 All-Star Game MVP has given the Yanks pause in the past. As recently as last year, Stanton played just 110 games and experienced an Achilles injury that heavily impacted his regular season statistics. Entering the All-Star break, the slugger was slashing .237/.319/.516 with 24 homers in 77 games. After the break, .151/.246/.336 with seven homers in 34 games including nearly a month missed due to the injury.
The Yankees have to weigh the risk-reward and determine if playing the outfield truly generates more injury risk — he played 38 games (34 in right field and 4 in left) out there in 2022. Boone is “at least considering” the possibility of starting Aaron Judge in left field at times to get Stanton more reps in right.
The five-time All-Star is ready to do whatever is asked of him in order to win games
“It’ll continue to be similar to last year [playing the field],” Stanton. “Obviously, a road bump with the injury [last year], but we got to build up to a similar gameplan and see what we can accomplish putting us in the scenario to win each night wherever that is in the lineup.”
As a player who experienced a historic home run chase of his own — hitting 59 homers in 2017 — Stanton understands what newly named captain may be going through as he attempts to follow up his AL record-breaking 62 home run season.
Judge — who inked a nine-year, $360 million contract to remain in pinstripes — may be tempted to match or surpass his MVP season of 2022, which is key to avoid according to Stanton.
“Not trying to hit 62 [is the biggest challenge for Judge’s individual season],” said Stanton. “Not even worry about it, have no number set. A guy like him you just put good at-bats together put the barrel to the ball and he can be in the ballpark again.”
If the Bombers want 2023 to end their title drought, their two big boppers must remain healthy at the right time when the postseason begins. How Boone and his staff navigate the waters to accomplish that goal is something to keep an eye on in the spring and throughout the season.