Yankees' Stanton: Hamstring Issue Was 'Quite The Factor' In 2018

February 18, 2019 - 3:43 pm

By WFAN.com

Most Yankees fans will be quick to say they expected more from Giancarlo Stanton during his first year in pinstripes.

His batting average (.266), home runs (38) and RBIs (100) were all down considerably compared to his 2017 National League MVP season with the Miami Marlins (.281, 52, 132).

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But the slugger said at spring training in Tampa, Florida, on Monday that a hamstring injury he battled most of the season slowed him down. 

“It wasn’t the best for me," said Stanton, who played in 158 games. "It was quite the factor.”

Stanton said his hamstring was healthy by the end of the season, although that wasn't evident by his September (.218, three homers) or playoff stats (.238, one homer in five games).

Speaking on the day when all position players reported to camp, Stanton also said it was an adjustment mentally to play in so many meaningful games for the first time in his career, a comment that certainly came across as a shot at his former team in Florida.

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"Not about learning," he said in response to a question. "It's more just playing games that matter ... games when you're in it past May 7, which I'd never done. So that's the biggest difference."

Stanton, 29, is entering the fifth year of the record 13-year, $325 million contract he signed with the Marlins before the 2015 season. So naturally he was asked about this year's top free agents -- Manny Machado and Bryce Harper -- who were each eyeing $300 million contracts themselves this winter but remain unsigned. 

“I think there are some issues there that need to be addressed," Stanton said. "In terms of the contract, if they break it, cool. I’ll be happy for them. But hopefully they can get signed over here. I don’t know what the deal is.”