How Giancarlo Stanton’s absence could impact Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu

Life without Giancarlo Stanton means different looks for the Yankees lineup.

With the designated hitter/outfielder suffering a Grade 2 left hamstring strain over the weekend, Aaron Boone said that he’s more open to configurations that feature Anthony Volpe in the leadoff spot and DJ LeMahieu in the middle of the order. Tuesday’s series-opener against the Angels had the rookie Volpe hitting first and playing shortstop, while LeMahieu batted fifth and manned third base.

The Yankees also used the two in those slots on Sunday, the day after Stanton hurt his hammy.

“You could see that some, yeah. That’s certainly possible,” Boone said Tuesday before the game. “I potentially like that.”

Already accustomed to moving around defensively, the versatile LeMahieu has been the Bombers’ go-to leadoff man since his first season with the team in 2019. Volpe, meanwhile, has mostly hit ninth to begin his big league career, though the 21-year-old has led off twice with LeMahieu out of the lineup.

The hope is that the contact oriented LeMahieu can drive more runs in while hitting in a position primed to do so while Stanton is out. Volpe, meanwhile, maintains a sharp eye at the top of the order while bringing faster wheels than LeMahieu’s.

“His DNA is control the strike zone,” Boone said when asked why he’s comfortable with the neophyte hitting first. “And when he really gets rolling, you’re gonna see that at a really high level. Even these first couple of weeks, and he hasn’t been on fire, you still see that in there, his ability to lay off pitches. He’s cut out for that. Obviously, add the speed mix to it.”

Volpe entered Tuesday’s contest with seven stolen bases, and he drew a bases-loaded walk in the game that put the Yankees on the board. LeMahieu, meanwhile, didn’t record a hit in the 5-2 Yankees loss.

Then there’s Gleyber Torres, who has occupied Stanton’s cleanup spot in the two games since his injury. Boone hopes to have Stanton back in six weeks following a hot start that included four home runs and 11 RBI.

In the meantime, the Yankees can’t replace the slugger’s power, but they’re hoping these lineup tweaks will keep the offense producing while Stanton recovers from his latest leg injury.

“We’ll just let it play out how it does and look forward to getting him back,” Boone said. “And in the meantime, create some opportunities for other people to hopefully step up and fill the void that obviously he creates in the middle.”


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