Brian Cashman spoke to the media today as the Yankees are spending their first day in London. The news wasn’t good.
When will Giancarlo Stanton (knee) be back? Brian Cashman didn’t want to say. But pressed, he said: “safer to say the sweet spot would be August.”
— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) June 27, 2019
Stanton’s PCL strain is going to keep him out another month-plus. If we see Stanton back in the lineup on August 1 — which might even be aggressive considering August is the “sweet spot” — that means Stanton will have missed about 90 of the teams’ first 100 games.
The cause of the injury is still kind of a mystery. Stanton left the game on Monday after an awkward head-first slide into third base in which the Blue Jays’ pitcher stepped on Giancarlo’s hand. Everyone thought that was the reason he left the game, but it came out later he had a knee contusion which turned into the sprained knee. Did he hurt it on the slide? Running the bases? In right field? Nobody knows, but we are on the way to 2019 being a lost year for Stanton.
Cashman was also asked why Frazier was not called up when Stanton went on the IL. He cited Mike Tauchman’s defensive ability as the reason, but I can’t help but think it is also a continued slap on the wrist to Clint for his mishandling of the media in early June.
With the news that Stanton is going to miss significant time, Frazier will get another shot to redeem himself. After the Yankees get back from London there is no reason Frazier shouldn’t be up and in the everyday lineup. His 119 OPS+ is good for 5th on the team among players with qualifying plate appearances. Overall he is slashing .283/.330/.513, an obvious offensive upgrade over Tauchman and even Brett Gardner.
The Yankees will improve their starting rotation at the trade deadline and Frazier has been a talked about trade chip, but Stanton being out might keep Clint on the Yankees. There are no guarantees Stanton comes back fully healthy and Frazier’s bat in August and September could be needed.