Tuesday night the crosstown rival New York Mets and New York Yankees will open the first leg of the 2022 Subway Series at Citi Field, and the All-Star Game MVP will not be there. The Yankees placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with left Achilles tendonitis Tuesday afternoon, the team announced. Outfielder Tim Locastro was called up in a corresponding move.
The Yankees had an off-day Monday and Stanton did not start Saturday’s or Sunday’s games, though he did pinch-hit Saturday. Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated he kept Stanton out of the lineup this past weekend to give him extra rest after he didn’t really have an All-Star break, though obviously there was more going to it given the Achilles issue. Stanton could miss about 2-3 weeks, Boone told reporters.
“I feel the time (off) gives him a little bit of a reset that serves him well. I don’t want to push him through something now,” Boone told the New York Post over the weekend. “… I think it’s wise to take a couple days right now and get him back to the wrecking machine he is.”
After missing most of 2019 with injuries and DHing exclusively in 2020, the Yankees increased Stanton’s outfield workload last year, and this year he’s played more games in the outfield (38) than at DH (37). That said, Stanton missed 10 days with a calf injury in May, and now is out with an Achilles issue. The Yankees may cut back on his outfield time in an effort to keep him on the field.
The Yankees have three infielders (Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres) for two infield spots (second and third bases) and figure to use the DH spot to get all three in the lineup with Stanton sidelined. Of course, the trade deadline is a week away, so New York could bring in another bat if there’s concern Stanton will miss an extended period of time.
Stanton, 32, is sixth in baseball with 24 home runs, though a slump right before the All-Star break dragged his season batting line down to .228/.309/.448 through 80 games. A year ago he authored a .273/.354/.516 line with 35 homers in 139 games. It was his most games played since 2018.
At 66-31, the Yankees have baseball’s best record and a 12.5-game lead in the AL East. That big division lead gives them the luxury of not rushing Stanton back, and letting him recover at his own pace.