Early into the tenure of Giancarlo Stanton as a New York Yankee, the team has seen a mixed bag of results. In some games, he has blasted home runs deep into the skylines of the cities in which the team is playing. But in some games, he has struggled to even put the ball into play. And as Stanton has racked up some astounding strikeout totals in some of his first games as a member of the team, it is worth asking whether or not the Yankees should be worried about their expensive new addition.
Stanton started his Yankee career with a multiple home run game in Toronto against the Blue Jays, but cooled off considerably from there. Upon coming home to New York for the first time, Stanton struck out five times in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It is a feat so rare that the golden sombrero designation for a four-strikeout game no longer applied. Stanton had earned the platinum sombrero for his efforts instead.
In what was supposed to be a joyous homecoming for Stanton, Yankee fans were booing him for his high strikeout total. He sided with the fans in that case, stating that he deserved the boos for striking out so many times. But what was supposed to be a one-time problem, a blip on the radar in an otherwise successful season, happened again just a short time after.
Against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees saw a game head into extra innings. With chance after chance at the plate, Stanton could not make an impact on the game. Instead, he picked up another platinum sombrero. Stanton struck out five times again, this time failing to register a hit in any of his seven trips to the plate. What had started out as such a promising campaign after that first game in Toronto was quickly turning into a nightmare.
Now Stanton is facing waves of scrutiny from the always unforgiving New York media, and the team will need him to perform better if they are to compete in the American League. With the latest MLB odds on bet365 listing the Yankees as one of the favorites to win the pennant heading into the season, any continued struggles from Stanton could seriously jeopardize their legitimacy as candidates to compete for a championship.
Should Yankees fans be worried about Stanton or the team long term, though? Probably not. This is one of the worst stretches of hitting in the career of Giancarlo Stanton, and the team is still playing decent baseball in spite of it. Stanton will inevitably turn things around, and when he does, the Yankees will be used to hitting without him to where they will see a sizeable increase in their offensive production.
The beginning of the 2018 season has been a great test for the Yankees, who have once again been asked to handle pressure that they did not anticipate. If they can get through it intact, the sky is the limit for their season.