NEW YORK — Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton‘s career in pinstripes has included what seems like a never-ending list of trips to the injured list that has drawn the ire of Yankees fans since the former National League MVP was acquired from the Miami Marlins.
This time the 30-year-old slugger was placed on the injured list with a left hamstring strain that, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, has a recovery timeline of close to four weeks.
“I am disappointed in myself. I would be disappointed if I was rooting for me. Words can’t really describe the disappointment I’ve had over this,” Stanton said Monday during a pregame video conference call. “But I can’t really dwell on it. I have to see what’s in front of me, and that’s still a decent amount of the season and playoffs left. Though I was in the situation before, seems unreal at times, but I can just push forward and root my guys on until I’m back.”
Stanton played in 158 games in his first season with the Yankees, hitting 38 home runs with 100 RBIs. But 2018 was the last time Yankees fans saw the left fielder regularly in the lineup.
Last year, Stanton was limited to 18 games while dealing with nagging shoulder, biceps, knee and quadriceps injuries. When it came to the 2019 postseason, he played in five games but was out after suffering a severe strain in his right quad in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series in Houston.
At the original start of spring training this year, Stanton was injured again, this time suffering a Grade 1 right calf strain while performing defensive drills that sidelined him most of the spring. After the 3½-month hiatus triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Stanton had unexpected additional time to heal and was off to a good start at the plate, batting .293 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 14 games before his latest hamstring injury.
Stanton, who is currently getting treatment for swelling and scar tissue, said he has been working in the weight room but has not started baseball-specific activities yet.
“It’s been tough, to be honest. This is my life. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “There’s nothing for me to do but work to get back and keep a positive mindset. As repetitive as that sounds or might seem, there’s no positivity or nothing benefiting in being negative about it.”
Stanton had an MRI on Aug. 10 to determine the severity of the hamstring injury, which was determined to be a Grade 1 left hamstring strain that will force him to miss a significant portion of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. The team activated Thairo Estrada, Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar from the alternate site, and seems poised to absorb some of the early-season injuries to star players with its depth.
The Yankees’ “next man up” mentality was cemented in 2019 when they sent 30 players to the IL with 39 different stints, exceeding the previous major league record of 28.
With the help of a breakthrough year from third baseman Gio Urshela, alongside a then unknown cast of characters, including Mike Ford, Mike Tauchman and Tyler Wade, in addition to former top outfield prospect Frazier, the now-well-known Bombers picked up the slack and managed to win 103 games and their first division title since 2012.
“From one of the guys that has to see his role being filled, it’s awesome to see these guys coming in and being ready and putting wins in the column, being huge contributors,” Stanton said.
Unless he decides to exercise his opt-out clause after the 2020 season — and it is presumed he will not — Stanton will have another six years left on his 13-year, $325 million deal, of which the Yankees are on the hook for $235 million.
In other Yankees injury news Monday, LeMahieu is expected to miss two to three weeks after going on the injured list Sunday with a sprained left thumb.
Two doctors have evaluated imaging of LeMahieu’s thumb and agree there is a sprain but no fracture. The Yankees also plan to consult the hand specialist who treated LeMahieu when he had a similar injury in 2018 while with Colorado. LeMahieu broke a small bone in his thumb that year and missed about 2½ weeks.
“Save situation, he’ll be in there tonight,” Boone said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.