What will the Yankees get out of Giancarlo Stanton this season?
It's one of the bigger questions heading into spring training, as the former MVP battled through multiple injuries last season that led to playing only a few scattered games in the regular season and postseason. And even in those contests, Stanton's presence was felt.
Manager Aaron Boone will hope it's a presence he can consistently put in his lineup. Having Stanton around the likes of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and the rest of this stacked lineup makes it that much more scary for Yankees opponents. And it looks like that's what will happen right away at spring training, as Boone says Stanton is a full go.
"Yeah, he's fully healthy," Boone told reporters after the team's practice on Monday.
Boone hated to see Stanton constantly down in Tampa working his way back just to get set back again and again, especially considering how he and his staff saw him around this time last year ready for a big season.
"I felt like he was in a great spot, in a great frame of mind and the little sample that we saw I thought he was in position to have a tremendous season and I expect that this year," he said.
Where will he be playing exactly this year? Boone called the situation "fluid," with Stanton being considered as both a left fielder and DH. It's too early to see how the Yankees' lineup will shake out with injuries, pitching matchups and more to consider.
"So I can envision him playing a good portion of outfield but I can also envision things unfolding in a way that he gets more DH reps," Boone said.
Here's what else to take away from Boone's Monday press conference:
More comments on Astros scandal
Gleyber Torres was the latest Yankee to speak his mind on the matter, and he didn't hold back when he said he believes the Astros also cheated in 2019. Boone, though, still stands by his original words when he said he doesn't mind his players speaking out at all because he himself has qualms about the entire situation.
"I think it's important for them to say whatever they need to say on the matter -- if they want to talk about it or not," Boone said. "I'm respectful for that and encourage that."
However, he did make sure to mention that one of these days he'll stop fielding questions about the scandal and focus on the upcoming season. And that could be coming right when games begin later this week.
Masa working on a cut fastball
Masahiro Tanaka has been working on his cut fastball right away this spring, and that continued during live batting practice on Monday. He requested more lefties in the batter's box, and Boone explained that this pitch can help better set up his favorite splitter and slider combo.
"I think one of the things Masa is working on is the cut fastball a little bit," Boone explained. "You saw him wanting to get the lefty in there today to kinda work that cutter and I thought it was sharp today."
Andujar could see outfield reps right away
Miguel Andujar's role on the Yankees is up in the air as the spring starts, with Gio Urshela the starter at the moment at third base. Reps at first base and even the outfield could be an option for him, and Boone said the outfield could come right away.
"Yeah," Boone said when asked if we could see Andujar in the outfield this weekend. "I think the good thing is, physically speaking, Miggy's feeling well and we feel like in a good place and ready to go and game ready. We'll get him out there in a lot of different situations and even positions. But, at the same time, being mindful of the demands that this creates and something new that we have to be mindful of."