Tough Sun-day: Yanks outfielder Stanton loses 2 flys in sun
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — This wasn’t the kind of sun-day Giancarlo Stanton hoped for.
Making his first start in left field for the New York Yankees, the slugger lost two flyballs in the sun and both fell for hits Sunday in a 9-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
“They were in the sun but doesn’t matter, it’s still part of the game,” Stanton said.
Stanton never played left field in his eight seasons with the Marlins. The reigning NL MVP always started in right, the spot where Yankees star Aaron Judge plays. With Brett Gardner getting a day off, Stanton took over in left.
In the second inning, Stanton was moving toward the warning track when Jake Bauers’ drive went off his glove for a double.
Asked how someone should work on catching balls in the sun, a smiling Stanton said: “Get sun vision gloves, see right through the sun.”
Stanton went 0 for 3 at the plate.
“I felt worse in the box my first ABs than I did my first time in left,” he said. “It’s a process.”
Stanton, acquired in December from Miami, and Judge both will get time at designated hitter as the Yankees look for ways to keep all their big bats in the lineup.
“You know what, I honestly look at it as kind of a positive,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Picked about as tough a day to play the outfield as you could have in Florida. There’s a lot of balls falling out there. It was just one of those sun days.”
“We thought it’s a good first step,” he said. “Frankly, I saw nothing that keeps me from feeling good about him out there going forward.”
Stanton will play left again in Tuesday’s game against Detroit.
Judge, coming back from offseason left shoulder surgery, made his second start in right field. He has been working out in left and could get some playing time there before spring training ends.
Also, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struggled with his control during his first outing, throwing 10 of 18 pitches for strikes. The left-hander hit a batter, allowed a single and got a grounder in the third before departing due to pitch count.
Chapman, through a translator, said he feels fine physically.
NOTES: OF Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) still has soreness and is undergoing treatment. ... OF Clint Frazier (concussion) rode a stationary bike but didn’t hit.
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