Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton likely to miss Opening Day

Giancarlo Stanton played in just 18 games last season for the Yankees because of injuries.
Giancarlo Stanton played in just 18 games last season for the Yankees because of injuries.Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton probably will miss Opening Day because of a strained right calf, another significant injury for a team that was beset by health problems last season.

Manager Aaron Boone said Stanton was hurt near the end of defensive drills on Tuesday. An MRI found a Grade 1 strain.

‘‘It will probably put us against it a little bit,’’ Boone said Wednesday. ‘‘I would say it’s time for him to get back, but then getting built up and stuff. We’ll see.’’

The announcement came a day after New York said All-Star pitcher Luis Severino needed Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire season. Slugger Aaron Judge and lefty James Paxton already had been slowed this spring by injuries.


The Yankees put a major league-record 30 players on the injured list last year, with Stanton missing most of the season.

Asked if felt snake-bitten, Boone replied “No.”

The AL East champion Yankees open on March 26 at Baltimore.

Stanton played in just 18 games because of a number of injuries last season, batting .288 with three homers in 59 at-bats. He hit 38 homers in his first year with the Yankees in 2018, one year after a going deep a career-high 59 times in 2017 with the Miami Marlins.

Boone said he feels Stanton will be able to take advantage of replicating at-bats from last year’s rehab assignments and indoor work.

“So, I feel like from a hitting standpoint, he saw a lot of reps last year for being in a way a lost season,” Boone said.

The outfielder/designated hitter signed a $325 million, 13-year contract after the 2014 season.

‘‘It’s disappointing because you want to get guys going and built up,’’ Boone said.

Boone doesn’t know if Stanton’s latest injury will mean more time at DH.


“We'll have those conversions as he gets healthy and going,” Boone said. ‘‘See what it all looks like.’’

Boos follow Astros

George Springer could only stand there all alone and listen.

The Astros’ leadoff man had no choice when he stepped into the batter’s box a bit too early and was showered with loud boos Wednesday at an exhibition game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard turned and looked at the scoreboard clock that showed 1:09 p.m. — he waited for the minute to change so the game would officially reach the 1:10 start time, leaving Springer nowhere to go as the crowd heckled him.

“Cheater! Cheater! Cheater!” one Mets fan along the first-base side chanted at Springer.

The normal tranquility of a February game again was broken as a split squad of Astros continued the team’s latest stop on their spring training tour of derisive boos and catcalls, the result of their exposed sign-steal scheme.

Two days after José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Yuli Gurriel got jeered for a game at Detroit’s park in Lakeland, it was the Mets’ turn to host at newly renovated Clover Park.

Verlander slowed

Justin Verlander’s spring training debut will be postponed at least a few more days while the Astros ace deals with tightness in his groin. Verlander had been scheduled to start Thursday against Washington. Instead, he will throw a simulated game at the Astros’ complex prior to that exhibition . . . Yankees righthander Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs and two hits over two innings against the Nationals in his first start since arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. Tanaka had bone spurs removed on Oct. 23 . . . Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow will play for the Philippines next month in the World Baseball Classic. Tebow was born in the Philippines in 1987 when his parents were serving as missionaries in the country. The family moved to Florida when he was 3 years old. “I’m kind of excited about it,” Tebow said . . . South Korean star Kwang Hyun Kim, 31, retired all six Miami batters he faced in his first Grapefruit League start for the Cardinals. It came after he threw one shutout inning of relief against the Mets Saturday.