Home Sports Ex-Yankee Mike Stanton: Offense will suffer in MLB’s short season

Ex-Yankee Mike Stanton: Offense will suffer in MLB’s short season

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All the proof needed to agree with former Yankees reliever Mike Stanton’s vision for MLB’s shortened season was reinforced Saturday.

That’s when Gerrit Cole and Adam Ottavino continued their Yankee Stadium bullpen sessions ahead of Wednesday’s “spring training’’ reporting date for players. Two days of testing will be followed by the Yankees’ first workout at the Stadium on Friday.

“I think this has a chance to be anemic offensively,’’ Stanton told The Post on Saturday from his Texas home. “That’s because hitters are not going to get the live game repetitions they would get in a regular spring training.’’

Cole and Ottavino aren’t alone throwing bullpen sessions ever since the coronavirus shut down spring training camps on March 12. Zack Britton and James Paxton continued to throw in Texas and Wisconsin, respectively, and Jordan Montgomery did the same in South Carolina.

Stanton has a two-pronged plan to get pitchers and hitters ready at the same time.

Mike Stanton was one of the key relievers during the Yankees' last dynasty.
Mike Stanton was one of the key relievers during the Yankees’ last dynasty.Anthony J. Causi

“I would want all pitchers to throw live batting practice, 40 pitches. I don’t want game intensity but pitchers throw that many pitches in bullpens,’’ Stanton said. “The hitters should take live batting practice from Day 1. I would want the hitters to see as much live BP as possible.’’

Stanton, a Yankees reliever from 1997 to 2002 and again in 2005, believes today’s pitchers’ habits during downtime like this three-plus-month hiatus shouldn’t limit the number of pitches thrown in early games.

“It’s a different generation and a different mindset,’’ said the 53-year-old Stanton, who pitched in the big leagues for 19 years with the Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Nationals, Giants and Rangers. “In some capacity they have been throwing.’’

Stanton suggests not overdoing anything in the first week of spring training 2 to avoid injuries. But after that, the focus should be on building stamina and pitch count.

“The last 10 days cut it loose. I think a starter should be able to throw 90 [pitches],’’ Stanton said.

How Matt Blake, the Yankees’ first-year pitching coach, maps out his starters’ workload between Friday and the first game should the COVID-19 pandemic allow it, on July 23 against the defending world champion Nationals in Washington, will be interesting and likely cautious.

Cole, who would have started Opening Day against the Orioles in Baltimore and Aaron Boone’s obvious choice versus the Nationals, threw 55 pitches in his fourth spring training start on March 10. With two more spring outings remaining, Cole would have likely hiked the pitch count in the first by 15 or so but a lot of pitching coaches shorten a starter’s pitch count in the final outing.

However, first comes something baseball has never seen before: extensive testing for a virus.

Yankees players and staff members will go through two days of stringent screening and medical testing before entering the Stadium on Monday and Tuesday.

Teams have until 4 p.m. Sunday to submit a 60-man roster. Likely to be included are top pitching prospects Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia who are not on the 40-man roster. Without minor league games, it is an opportunity to provide a structured program and a chance to be part of a taxi squad.

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