Sunday, 18 November, 2018

That Giancarlo Stanton trade might work out for the Yankees after all

ESNY's Official New York Yankees 2018 season preview: Making their mark MLB Predictions: Will Severino, Yankees top Blue Jays on Thursday? 3/29/18
Isaac Mcdaniel | 30 March, 2018, 08:05

It is enough, after all, that the two sluggers are in the same lineup together heaping another muscular layer on the Bronx Bombers.

Curtis Granderson, who began the day with a first-inning fielding error in left, hit a single to centre field for his first hit as a Blue Jay in the fourth inning.

The Yankees had envisioned having the left-handed-hitting Greg Bird to split up the righties Judge and Stanton, but the first baseman had ankle surgery Tuesday that will sideline him from six to eight weeks. In just his first appearance at the plate, Stanton crushed the pitch, giving fans in NY something to be excited about, if they weren't already.

The smart money, of course, is on them being a batch from both.

If you were writing a story about the beginning of the 2018 season for the Yankees, odds are you would write that Giancarlo Stanton would homer in his first at-bat, and what do you know, it happened. And now they are hitting beside each other in a lineup that faces the Jays four times in this weekend's season-opening series.

It will be the first of 19 meetings between the two clubs and this season should be a fun one for the ancient rivals.

I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.

There will be huge expectations for both, of course.

After grooming Judge, Sanchez and Gregorius through their farm system, the Yankees upped the ante in December when they flipped even more talented prospects to Miami for the game's premier power hitter, Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton rounded the bases and then bounded into the Yankees' dugout.

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"If I wanted to do something like that in the regular season, and if that's a real option, I at least wanted to introduce it", Boone said last week of Judge batting leadoff.

"And with Giancarlo, my biggest concern going in was making sure that he got comfortable early on. It means you're still - I love what I do, and I get a chance to be out there and be with the guys".

Now get out there and help bring the Yankees their 28 World Series championship! "It just felt really good". "He knows where he is at in his career, knows the opportunity that's in front of him with our team". He told me the whole scenario was "surreal" when we chatted briefly three hours before the first pitch.

There might be a newness to all this for Stanton but I swear to the baseball gods I've seen this before. He's 2-2 with a a 2.40 ERA in 13 career games against NY, including three starts. "Don't try to compare numbers or compare where you were last year to this [year]". The sophomore slump, it only exists if you put it in your mind.

Boone also has little doubt that Judge will continue to be a force at the plate.

The game began with a touching tribute to Roy Halladay, the former Blue Jays ace who died last November when the small sport plane he was piloting crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. However, I do think the Yankees may need another starter. And it certainly is formidable. This makes as much sense as shouting a random Russian phrase when Aaron Judge goes yard. The first in the American League and one in the National League in 2005.

"Last year (in spring training) I was fighting for a spot", Severino said on Wednesday. "When they're on top of their game, this is a risky team". "I was very happy to have that honour". He homered twice on Opening Day, went on to hit 39 homers that year and a record 61 the year after.

The Yankees have lost six straight openers, the longest such streak in franchise history and the longest active skid in the major leagues. That anticipation was big for me but I was able to settle it down and understand it's just a game, even though it was big-time Opening Day, my first one as a Yankee.

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