Brian Cashman Struggles to Find Answers for Giancarlo Stanton’s Slump
The Yankees General Manager addresses concerns about Stanton’s performance and injuries
In a recent press conference at the GM meetings, Brian Cashman, the General Manager of the New York Yankees, faced numerous questions about analytics, player development, and the team’s future. However, when it came to discussing the struggles of slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Cashman found himself at a loss for concrete answers.
Stanton had a disappointing season in 2023, recording a slash line of .191/.275/.420 with 24 home runs and 60 RBI. A hamstring strain early in the season limited him to just 101 games, and his history of lower-body injuries hampered his performance both in the outfield and on the bases.
“We’ve gotta get Stanton up and running again,” Cashman admitted. “He’s injury-prone, and we’ve known that. But he’s never had a season like this before, where he struggled to hit when he was playing.”
The Yankees are committed to Stanton, as they owe him $98 million over the next four years. Cashman emphasized that Stanton’s rebound in 2024 will be crucial to the team’s success after failing to make the playoffs this year.
However, Cashman’s statement about 2023 being the first time Stanton hasn’t hit is only partially true. While Stanton battled calf and Achilles injuries in 2022, he still managed to hit 31 home runs and drive in 78 runs. Nevertheless, his batting average was a lackluster .211, and his on-base percentage remained below .300. Since 2022, Stanton’s performance has been subpar, with a slash line of .202/.286/.442, and he has struggled against fastballs. Additionally, his bat speed, hard-hit rate, and barrel rates all declined in 2023.
So, what is the plan to fix Stanton’s swing? Cashman stated that finding a relevant plan will be a priority for the team’s next hitting coach. While Tigers assistant James Rowson is expected to fill the role, no official announcement has been made. Stanton himself has expressed his intention to study film and make minor adjustments during the offseason.
Improving Stanton’s mobility is another challenge the Yankees face. Cashman acknowledged that they have been working on it for a long time without satisfactory results. Stanton’s lack of speed has cost the team on multiple occasions, with his sprint speed ranking in the fourth percentile for the past two seasons. Despite his chiseled physique, Stanton’s speed has declined since his first season with the Yankees in 2018, where he ranked in the 70th percentile.
Manager Aaron Boone has also commented on Stanton’s running, suggesting that his fear of reinjury may be holding him back. Cashman admitted that injuries are now expected with Stanton, and while they try to limit his time on the sidelines, he cannot guarantee that Stanton will play every game next season.
Despite the challenges, Cashman remains optimistic about Stanton’s abilities when he is healthy. He believes that Stanton is a great hitter and expects him to bounce back in 2024.
As the Yankees look ahead to the upcoming season, finding solutions for Stanton’s slump and injury concerns will be crucial for the team’s success.