Sun, 26 Sep 2021

Giancarlo Stanton returns to Miami with Yankees

Field Level Media
30 Jul 2021, 16:40 GMT+10

Giancarlo Stanton is set to make his triumphant return to Miami this weekend -- as an outfielder.

Stanton and the rest of the New York Yankees are scheduled to open a three-game series against the host Miami Marlins on Friday.

The plan is for Stanton, normally New York's DH, to play left field-- something he hasn't done all year.

"We'll see if we want to do an outfield alignment of (Aaron) Judge, (newly acquired Joey) Gallo and Stanton," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I feel like Giancarlo is physically ready."

Miami is where Stanton's big-league career began in 2010. He was a four-time All-Star with the Marlins, earning honors as the National League's Most Valuable Player in 2017, when he hit 59 homers.

Stanton had a strong first year with the Yankees in 2018, belting 38 homers and driving in 100 runs. But injuries have held him to just 135 at-bats and seven homers the past two years.

This year, the Yanks have used Stanton as a DH to keep him healthy, and he has responded with 16 homers and 46 RBIs. But with no DH available at an NL ballpark, Stanton is set to play left field.

Judge, recovered from a bout with COVID-19, is expected to play right field for the Yankees. Greg Allen, Brett Gardner and Estevan Florial are all possibilities in center along with Gallo, who hit 25 homers this year for the Texas Rangers.

In 2017, Stanton (59), Judge (52) and Gallo (41) all hit career highs in homers, which shows the potential of this trio.

The good news for the Marlins is they will avoid Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, although he allowed eight runs on Thursday in New York's 14-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

New York will instead start right-hander Jameson Taillon (6-4, 4.36 ERA). Miami will start rookie right-hander Zach Thompson (2-3, 2.45).

Thompson, who has yet to face the Yankees in his seven-start MLB career, has 36 strikeouts in 33 innings. He has allowed just 10 walks, two homers and no steals, but the Marlins are just 2-5 when he starts.

Making his MLB debut this year at age 27 as an unheralded prospect, Thompson has nonetheless boosted a Marlins rotation that has spent the entire year without projected ace Sixto Sanchez.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly has dealt with other issues to his rotation as Pablo Lopez and Trevor Rogers are on the injured list, and Sandy Alcantara just came back from the bereavement list this week.

Taillon is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins, both of those in Miami.

The Yankees are 9-10 when Taillon starts this year, including two straight wins and five victories in his past six starts.

Taillon, who has five quality starts this year, is off to a great start in the second half (2-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two starts). In 17 first-half starts, he went 4-4 with a 4.90 ERA.

The Marlins, meanwhile, will play without standout center fielder Starling Marte and closer Yimi Garcia -- both traded away on Wednesday.

"Trading a player of Starling's caliber is always difficult," Marlins general manager Kim Ng said when the first trade was announced. "These are the first steps we have to take (to rebuild the roster)."

--Field Level Media

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