Mike Stanton aiming to return from quadriceps injury Thursday

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Mike Stanton was expected to miss “at least two weeks” with a strained quadriceps suffered on February 27. It’s been three weeks and a couple days, and now Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Stanton is hoping to make his spring training debut Thursday.

In the meantime he’ll test his quadriceps by playing a few innings of right field in a minor-league game today, so barring a setback it sounds like Stanton should have plenty of time to be fully healthy by Opening Day.

He’s a very popular breakout pick after an impressive rookie half-season with the Marlins and Stanton blasted 43 homers between Triple-A and the majors as a 20-year-old. Few hitters in baseball have as much power potential, but Stanton still has plenty of work to do on his plate discipline and strike zone control after posting a 123/34 K/BB ratio in his debut.

Giancarlo Stanton stared down Derek Jeter and Michael Hill to get to New York

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Everyone knows that Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee. Everyone knows the Marlins traded him to New York. Most people also know that, before that trade happened, the Cardinals and Giants had deals in place for Stanton that he rejected via his no-trade clause. Now, for the first time, we get some real flavor of how all of that went down from Stanton’s perspective, courtesy of this profile of Stanton’s eventful offseason from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated.

The best part of it comes when Derek Jeter and Marlins president Michael Hill had a sit down with Stanton while the Giants and Cardinals offers were pending. In that meeting, Reiter reports, Stanton was told in no uncertain terms that he’d either accept one of those deals or else he’d be stuck in Miami while the roster was dismantled. Stanton responded thusly:

“This is not going to go how you guys think it will go,” Stanton said. “I’m not going to be forced somewhere, on a deadline, just because it’s convenient for you guys. I’ve put up with enough here. Derek, I know you don’t fully understand where I’m coming from. But Mike does. He’s been here. He can fill you in. This may not go exactly how I planned. But it’s definitely not going to go how you have planned.”

Even adjusting for the likelihood that it wasn’t put quite as smoothly as that in real time as it was in Stanton’s recollection of it to Reiter, it’s still pretty badass. Stanton had the power in that situation and he did not blink when the club threatened to call his bluff. In the end, he got what he wanted.

Beyond that, it’s a good profile of Stanton as he’s about to begin his Yankees career. Definitely worth your time.