Stanton plays left for 2nd time, no fly balls to him
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton defied the laws of baseball.
Starting in the unfamiliar position of left field for just the second time, Stanton didn’t have a single fly ball hit to him Thursday in the New York Yankees’ 7-2 win over Detroit. He played five innings and cleanly fielded a single and a double off the wall.
After acquiring the major league home run leader from Miami in December, the Yankees have two players whose most comfortable position is right. New manager Aaron Boone wants to try out both Stanton and AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge in left.
Balls usually find their way to players in unfamiliar positions. Stanton lost two fly balls in the sun on a windy Sunday, and both fell for hits.
He was not disappointed about not getting a fly ball Tuesday.
“I got a little bit of action, that’s what we need,” he said. “Keep working at it.”
Brett Gardner figures to be the Yankees’ starting left fielder, but Judge or Stanton could displace him at times when opponents start left-handed pitchers.
“It’s a bit different. Not anything crazy to worry about,” Stanton said. “It’s different in terms of having to get reps out there and seeing the different trajectories of the ball.”
Stanton and Judge also figure to get time at designated hitter, but Gary Sanchez also will be a DH at times as the Yankees try to keep his bat in the lineup on days he is not catching.
Judge, coming back from offseason left shoulder surgery, made his third start in right field. He also has been working out in left.
Stanton doubled in three at-bats.
“I’ve been really impressed with his work behind the scene Boone said. “How he prepares each and everyday.”
Boone said Aaron Hicks could hit lead off when Gardner is not in the lineup and didn’t completely rule out Judge moving to the top of the battng order.
“I would not necessarily say it’s likely but something like that I would at least consider,” Boone said.
Judge said no one has addressed the possibility with him.
“If they did, just roll with it,” Judge said.
Notes: Boone would “ideally like” to have a left-handed hitter like Greg Bird bat between Judge and Stanton. ... OF Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) is feeling better and could soon start off-field work.
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