Millar On Stanton Injuries: You Need A Little Fat To Be In Baseball Shape

Giancarlo Stanton isn't shy on muscle, but he could use a little more cushion, Kevin Millar says

The DA Show
March 05, 2020 - 9:25 am

The New York Yankees overcame numerous injuries last season to win 103 games and win the AL East. They may need to do the same thing in 2020, as Luis Severino (Tommy John), Giancarlo Stanton (calf strain) and Aaron Judge (shoulder) have already been lost. 

Severino, of course, will miss the entire 2020 season, while Stanton and Judge will likely miss Opening Day.

Can the Yankees overcome these losses? In a word, yes.

“You know there’s going to be injuries throughout a Major League Baseball season,” Kevin Millar said on The DA Show. “It’s a long season. It’s a grind. It’s 162 games, plus 30 games in spring training. They’re good enough, and that’s part of having depth. Their bullpen is nasty. You’re going to lose starters throughout the year, and the teams that don’t, really, it’s lucky.”

The 2004 Boston Red Sox are a testament to that.

“We went through and entire season and our starters made every start,” Millar said, “from Bronson Arroyo to Tim Wakefield to Derek Lowe to Pedro Martinez to Curt Schilling. That’s a very, very lucky season. But now you look at the Yankees, obviously the Stanton situation – these big guys are tough to stay healthy all year long. [They’ve got] these big, strong muscles. I joke around because when I played, now you look at these players, they look like Adonises. They have body fat of 4.2 percent, they’re all ripped, they’re all 6-3. I’m like, ‘Where’s the dad-body guys like myself?’”

In today’s game, they’re few and far between.

“You used to roll into camp to get into shape,” said Millar, who played in the majors from 1998 to 2009. “You were eating a hot dog and drinking a beer and hanging out and doing your thing. Now you go into camp, they all got trainers, they’ve been working out at these clinics – it cracks me up. Players look amazing in a bathing suit. I’ve never looked amazing in a bathing suit. I was in baseball shape. And so, there’s this fine line. You need a little fat to play that many games and be in baseball shape than to be in this perfect body shape that has a lot of oblique injuries and a lot of strains in the calves and the hamstrings.”

The Yankees have made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons and won 100+ games two years in a row. They’ve shown, especially recently, that they’re equipped to weather the injury storm if needed.

“I think the Yankees are a good ball club, and they got a lot of depth,” Millar said. “They’re going to be fine. Aaron Boone does a great job over there with his staff. I think that’s why you want depth because when injuries happen, you want guys to step up and just fill in – and they’ve come a lot quicker than people expected the last few years.”