The New York Yankees on Monday put Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain. This adds potential long-term concerns to the short-term angst of dropping consecutive games to Yankees division rival the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend.
Clint Frazier has been recalled from Triple-A to take Stanton's roster spot.
There had been no indications prior to the announcement that Stanton was suffering from any physical ailments.
An Unfortunate Injury for the Slugger Stanton
Stanton had 15 plate appearances in the season-opening three-game series against the Orioles. In that span he went two for eight, both singles, but accompanied by an impressive 7 walks.
Putting him on the injured list ensures that the durable slugger will miss more time this season than he has in the previous two combined. He played in 158 games during the last campaign and 159 in 2017 when he won National League MVP honors with the Miami Marlins.
Meanwhile Frazier, 24, has played in 54 games for New York over the last two seasons. In that time he's posted a batting average of .238, an on-base percentage of .295 and a slugging percentage of .429 with four home runs.
Considering Stanton's career OBP is a quite solid .358, that's a steep drop off and could hurt the Yankees significantly if Stanton doesn't return quickly.
Can Clint Frazier Hold the Outfield Fort?
Frazier's playing time was limited in 2018 after he suffered a concussion during spring training and struggled to recover. The young outfielder does have significant talent: an overall #5 draft pick by the Cleveland Indians, Frazier had a solid .357 weighted on base average in triple A in 2017.
The next season? He improved it to a gaudy .420 wOBA based upon a .389 OBP and a .574 slugging percentage.
But whether the talented Yankee can translate that raw ability to the major leagues is an open question. And it won't likely happen immediately while Stanton is out.
New York's outfield depth was already stretched thin as Aaron Hicks continues to recover from a back strain that sidelined him during spring training. That injury forced him to open the season on the 10-day IL.
Tonight: Yankees Look for Victory Against Detroit
Tonight, the Yankees begin a three-game home stand against the AL Central's Detroit Tigers. Detroit began their season going 2-2, splitting their series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
For tonight, the Yankees have penciled Mike Tauchman into the field spot and he will bat 8th in the lineup. Right hand pitcher Domingo Germán, who was 2-6 with a 5.57 era for the Yankees in 2018, gets the start.
After dropping 2 out of 3 games to Yank's division rivals Baltimore, the Bombers seek to turn their fortunes around quickly against Detroit.
But without Stanton, it just became that much harder.
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