Gardner stakes claim on CF

gardner_250_022609.jpgBy Glenn Giangrande
While I sit here and watch Phil Hughes take his first steps towards erasing his 2008 season, I’m still shocked by what I saw in the box score from Wednesday’s Spring Training opener.
 
Brett Gardner went deep?
 
Sure, it doesn’t have the media relevance that A-Rod’s two-run jack had, but boy oh boy, what a nice way to start the official slate for Gardner, who I fully expect to win the job in center field over Melky Cabrera. He’s not going to be hitting many homers, I know, but I don’t think people who view CF as a position battle will get their money’s worth.
 
In my eyes, Gardner is the clear cut favorite, and if he wasn’t so young and inexperienced, he might’ve been given the job in college, although I think we’d all agree in saying that Joe Girardi is the probably the kind of manager who likes to foster competition when possible. The facts cannot be ignored though. Gardner has blazing speed in the outfield, and while his arm is not at the level of Melky’s, you don’t need to throw the ball in if you can run it down!
 
When he doesn’t start, Gardner can wreak havoc in the late innings as a pinch runner, but I believe that the temptation to have that dimension in the lineup on a regular basis is far too tempting for Girardi. 

4 Comments

Finally! Some love for Brett Garnder. If I hear Joey Bagadonuts from the Jersey call in a radio show again saying how the Yanks should trade Melky to the Mets for Beltran I’m going to lose it. Anyway,Check out this comparison to Jacoby Elsbury’s last full season in the minors to Brett Gardners….
Elsbury
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB KO SB BA OBP SLG
87 363 66 108 14 5 2 28 32 47 33 .297 .360 .380

Gardner
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB KO SB BA OBP SLG
94 341 68 101 12 11 3 32 70 76 37 .296 .414 .422

So it would be reasonable to say that given a full time job in center, Gardner could possibly do what Elsbury did last year…
AB R H HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
554 98 155 9 47 41 50 .279 .335 .393

Thats ROY stuff with solid defense to boot. I think every Yankee fan would love that productions from Gardner this year, well everyone except for Joey B in Jersey. But you get my point.

Melky is the better ballplayer.Gardner will never hit much.
I loved the comment “Gardner has blazing speed in the outfield, and while his arm is not at the level of Melky’s, you don’t need to throw the ball in if you can run it down! ”
What a silly statement. Most balls that a outfielder has to handle are basehits. And I for one dont want to see every team going from first to third on every hit.
We allready have a terrible thrower in left. If I see Damon throw one more pop fly back to the infield I think I will be sick. And you want Damon and Gardner as outfielders.
The Angels are licking at the chance to run wild on the Yankees.
And lets not forget Melky is a great fieder himself.

Melky is the better ballplayer.Gardner will never hit much.
I loved the comment “Gardner has blazing speed in the outfield, and while his arm is not at the level of Melky’s, you don’t need to throw the ball in if you can run it down! ”
What a silly statement. Most balls that a outfielder has to handle are basehits. And I for one dont want to see every team going from first to third on every hit.
We allready have a terrible thrower in left. If I see Damon throw one more pop fly back to the infield I think I will be sick. And you want Damon and Gardner as outfielders.
The Angels are licking their lips at the chance to run wild on the Yankees.
And lets not forget Melky is a great fielder himself.

Melky has a very good arm in the outfield. He’s not a great fielder. A great fielder is a Ken Griffey Jr. who never made a mistake out in Center. Melky has made his share of mistakes. When Melky’s mistakes are bad, they are terrible. He’s average in my opinion.

“Melky is the better ballplayer. Gardner will never hit much.” Really? Cause the last time I checked Melky wasn’t really that good of a hitter either. I think people are delusional when it comes to Melky Cabrera. He will be nothing more than a mediocre outfielder during his career.

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