It hasn’t been the greatest start for New York Yankees Left Fielder Brett Gardner this season. His rough Spring Training has carried over into the regular season, and his production is not matching what leadoff hitters do. It’s time the Yankees move him down in the lineup.
Thus far, Gardner has 10 hits in 55 at-bats so his batting average is sitting on the interstate hitting a miserable .182. His On-Base percentage is .318 and that’s mostly due to his 11 Base on Balls that he has drawn this season.
Furthermore, over the past two weeks, Gardner has had 25 plate appearances. He managed only two hits, which is a horrendous batting average of .080. His On-Base percentage is .281.
This past week for Gardner was definitely one to forget as he was just 1-14. With numbers like this one can’t help but think why hasn’t Manager Joe Girardi already moved him down in the lineup.
Especially, with the start of the season that Jacoby Ellsbury is having. Ellsbury numbers are what you are looking for in a leadoff hitter. In the early going, Ellsbury has 22 hits in 66 at-bats. His numbers are .333/.380/.455.
Ellsbury is also hitting better than Gardner when facing lefties, usually, Ellsbury is the first option to sit when a lefty is on the mound. Ellsbury has five hits in 16 at-bats against lefties, that’s a .313 batting average, while Gardner is 0-for 9.
Am I suggesting that Gardner should be moved to the bench? No, Gardner, for now, needs to be in the lineup. He has drawn his fair share of walks. Also, he has been more aggressive stealing bases.
He has stolen five bases and has not been caught stealing on the season. Gardner had only 16 stolen bases all of last year, so already he is on pace to pass that mark this season.
Also, he is a gold glove winner, his defense abilities still help the team, so the point that is being made is there is still value of him being in the lineup. He just needs to be moved down in the batting order because of his ineffectiveness at the leadoff spot.
So much has been focused on Greg Bird struggles that Gardner’s have quietly slipped by. If Gardner doesn’t start heating up soon then moving him down is a move that Girardi must make.
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