Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton suffers calf strain, could be out for Opening Day

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced Wednesday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been sidelined with a Grade 1 calf strain and may not be ready for Opening Day. Per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Boone said Stanton suffered the strain toward the end of his Tuesday fielding work and underwent an MRI. The results of the MRI confirmed the injury.

Stanton, 30, is coming off a 2019 season in which he was limited to just 17 regular season games because of a biceps strain followed by a knee strain. Stanton had just 72 plate appearances during the 2019 regular season and played in five more games during New York's postseason run. The 2017 NL MVP hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 homers in 2018, his first season in the Bronx.

It's already been a rough spring for the Yankees, who were baseball's most-injured team in 2019. The Stanton news comes the day after Yankees right-hander Luis Severino learned he needs to undergo Tommy John surgery. Lefty James Paxton will also miss the first few months of the season after undergoing back surgery.

Stanton had been penciled in as the Yankees' primary DH for 2020, and he also likely would've seen time in the outfield. Now, the Yankees may turn to some combination of Mike Ford and Miguel Andujar to cover the DH role should Stanton not be ready for Opening Day.

The slugger has dealt with injury problems throughout his career, as he's been on the IL six times, not counting last year's transfer from the 10-day to the 60-day IL because of that aforementioned knee injury. Just three times in 10 seasons has Stanton played in 150 or more games. Not counting Stanton's rookie season of 2010 (he wasn't called up until June), he's played in less than 125 games in five of nine seasons. Absent all that missed time, Stanton might have already topped 400 home runs for his career (he has 308 entering 2020).

The Yankees originally acquired Stanton from the Marlins prior to the 2018 season. He's signed through 2028 and still owed more than $200 million on the $325 million extension he signed with Miami in November 2014. Needless to say, Stanton's penchant for injury raises concerns about that salary obligation moving forward. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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