Giancarlo Stanton says his frequent IL trips are ‘unacceptable’
Giancarlo Stanton, currently sidelined because of a hamstring strain, said his frequent stints on the injured list are “unacceptable” because they put the New York Yankees “in a really tough spot.”
Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL on Sunday and is expected to miss six weeks. The 2017 National League MVP discussed his latest injury Thursday, saying he plans to “be back as soon as possible” while expressing frustration over the impact that his absence has on the Yankees lineup.
“It’s unacceptable [being injured] this often right now,” Stanton told reporters. “The team relies on me. I can’t have this continue to happen and put us in a really tough spot we weren’t prepared for.
“There are guys to fill the roles that’ll do just fine but at the same time, it’s my duty and responsibility to be out there.”
It marks the fifth consecutive season that Stanton, 33, will spend time on the IL. The slugger missed 223 of 546 possible games (41%) with the Yankees over the previous four seasons.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he disagrees with Stanton’s use of the word “unacceptable” and stressed that the organization is “dealing with the reality of trying to get him right.”
“The one thing I can say in Giancarlo’s case is I don’t question his professionalism and his commitment to doing all he needs to do to stay healthy and to be healthy,” Boone said before Thursday’s game against the Angels. “So there’s clearly that frustration, and Giancarlo feels that responsibility. He feels a responsibility to this team and to this organization to be the great player that he is, but to be able to do it more and more often.
“So I think there’s that disappointment and frustration. He feels bad for us, but I don’t say ‘unacceptable’ because I know the person and what he goes through and how he prepares. Sports is hard and you get hurt sometimes. As long as you’re doing everything possible to put yourself in the best position to be healthy, then it is acceptable.”
Stanton has been sidelined with a strained right biceps and strained PCL in his right knee (2019), strained left hamstring (2020), strained left quadriceps (2021) and right ankle inflammation and left Achilles tendinitis (2022).
Boone said earlier this week that the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Stanton “works very hard to try and avoid these things,” but the five-time All-Star acknowledged Thursday that he may have to make changes to prevent future injuries.
“You got to make little alterations to try to improve trying to stay on the field and try to not have this happen,” he said. “But there’s an original foundation that’s there regardless, so you got to make little tweaks however that may be.”
The Yankees have won two of their first three games without Stanton but have scored a total of just seven runs over that stretch. New York went 11-17 in the 28 games Stanton missed last season.
Stanton had just started heating up before suffering the left hamstring strain Saturday, batting .313 (10-for-32) with two home runs and seven RBIs in his past eight games.
“I mean, the disbelief and disappointment at [the timing of] this is hard to put into words and comprehend, and it’s very frustrating,” he said.
Stanton has not played a full season since 2018, the first year after the Yankees acquired him from the Miami Marlins.
“I can’t control it, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be happening,” he said. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, it’ll be OK later.’ I prepare my whole life. This is everything I put in for, so it’s very disappointing and frustrating. You want to keep a positive outlook, which I have, but at the same time it’s just so unbelievable.”
At the time of the trade with Miami, Stanton was owed $295 million over the final decade of a 13-year, $325 million he signed with the Marlins in November 2014. He will make $32 million this year and is under contract with the Yankees through the 2027 season.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera contributed to this report.