The Gardner revival

Yanks plate 19 in Boston drubbing
Jays extend offer to Burnett

After his first stint in the Bigs, Brett Gardner returned to AAA with little fanfare. While fast and solid in the outfield, he didn’t do much hitting and looked like the consummate Quadruple-A player. This time around, the numbers tell a different tale. Since taking over the center field job a few weeks ago, Gardner is 13 for 40 (.325) with seven RBIs and four stolen bases. He’s now doing what we expected him to do. While Gardner, as John Sickels noted this week, probably won’t be more than good fourth outfielder, he’s certainly making a case for himself this month.

Yanks plate 19 in Boston drubbing
Jays extend offer to Burnett
  • Anthony

    Who does this remind you of?

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    A Brett-Gardner-Rocco-Baldelli rotation in Center Field next year sounds like a pretty nice stopgap solution for 2009, no?

    • dan

      I’m just curious, where did all this Rocco talk start?

    • Accent Shallow

      Absolutely not. Rocco Baldelli has mitochondrial myopathy, which is a rare genetic disorder where one’s muscles aren’t able to function properly due to abnormalities at the cellular level. There’s no cure.

      I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on the guy with a non-roster invite to spring training, but counting on him to stay healthy would be folly. It’s not like he’s Pavano/Sheets/Harden/Burnett who may be able to maintain consecutive healthy seasons with luck, he’s a guy who’s taking drug cocktails just to be able to DH. NRI or pass.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Baldelli’s medical condition isn’t a secret, and Jamal didn’t say anything about Baldelli being the every-day starter in CF.

    • kenthadley

      Baldelli has a form of muscular dystrophy…..his athletic abilities will continue to erode, so while he might be able to play to some extent over the next few years, he’s certainly not someone to count on anything other than bench contributions from…..

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Dude, Rocco was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy the other day.

      http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/rays_rocco_baldelli_diagnosed_with_muscular_dystrophy/

      Between that and the mitochondrial myopathy, he’s done. He’ll probably land a gig in the Rays’ front office or something. Poor guy can’t catch a break. He had superstar written all over him.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yikes. That, I did not know. I guess he’s not a viable option.

        Poor guy, obviously best wishes to him in the future.

      • UWS

        Mitochondrial myopathy is a form of muscular dystrophy. It’s the same disease. Still majorly sucks for the kid, though.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Rays/Baldelli deny reports re muscular dystrophy:

        http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/sep/27/sp-crawford-ready-to-go-but-team-not-going-to-rush/

        From the article: Asked directly Friday afternoon if he had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Baldelli said, “No.” Of the WFTS report, Baldelli said, “That’s awful.”
        The Rays issued a statement from team president Matt Silverman that read as follows:
        “The report issued by WFTS-TV Channel 28 is irresponsible and erroneous. We expect an immediate retraction and an apology to Rocco and his family.”

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    At least there is no pressure or high expectations on Austin Jackson.

  • Brian

    i’m all for gardner/damon, gardner/baldelli, what have you for 2009,
    but what of melky?

    what can you get for him at this point? and should we basically be saying that using him as a fifth outfielder, nevermind the possible nady/abreu/matsui/damon logjam, is a bad use of his talent?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Objectively, probably some low level prospect who will never really amount to anything.

      Think about it: If you were the GM of a team, would you want to put in as your starting center fielder a kid who’s shown backwards progress every year he’s been in the majors? Melky’s arm is rather seductive, but outside of that, he doesn’t bring anything to the plate.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Dude I respect your opinions and enjoy your writing (which has been clear from my comments here, not that I’d expect anyone to notice), but I just have to give you shit for one thing… Remember early this season when you answered, in the negative, a completely hypothetical, irresponsible rumor mongering style question of whether you’d trade Melky for Rich Harden?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Certainly. But that was before Melky took yet another huge step back. I’m not afraid to admit being wrong at various points.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Not accusing you of being unable to admit it, and at the time it was definitely a very difficult question (and most people agreed with you, with good reason). Just giving you shit about it.

          • daneptizl

            wtf? you said no to melky for harden straight up?

      • Brian

        So we’d be selling pretty low now and possibly lower next year, but…and I’m no Melky apologist, but what if he/Gardner platoon next year, Melky revitalizes himself somewhat (he does have Youth with a capital Y on his side), and then we clear him with A-Jax en route? He’s still Cheap with a capital C, too.

        I’ve made a brilliant case of capital letters obfuscating lack of talent! Maybe Hank and his Big Change have something else in store. Let’s hope.

  • Old Ranger

    If there is not a stellar, young, athletic CF out there (to be had)…I say; stay with Brett for 2009 or until A-Jax is ready to take over. Of course, this presupposes Brett will level out at about .265 BA-.333 OBP or better…conversely, if he dose much better, one must look at him as a starter of the future. If there is no trade of Melky, he would make a nice bench player.

    • Mark B

      Old Ranger, I disagree that Melky makes for a nice bench player as he has proven not to have any plate discipline (making him a poor pinch-hitter) and not to be a stolen base threat (making him a poor pinch runner). Melky is just a defensive replacement now – something the Yankees don’t need unless they go into ’09 with Matsui and/or Damon in LF.

      • Old Ranger

        Melky is a switch hitter, good defender, very good arm and young. Ok, he is not the perfect guy to have, but trading him for nothing is…!

      • gg

        and they are going to go into next year with both damon and matsui

  • Mark B

    My apologies for being a little off-topic here, but I see Buster Olney said this in his column today:

    Brian Cashman will soon make up his mind whether to stay as GM of the Yankees, writes Ed Price. The guess here is that he will leave.

    Have to admit I totally agree – if he were to stay, why not say it now with nothing left to play for this year. Looks like more changes are a-comin’…..

  • Mark B

    As for Brett Gardner, it sure looks like he is living up to all the hype he brought when called up earlier in the summer. I sure would like to see him get comfortable now and go into ’09 as the starting CF.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      All he’s got to do is get on base about 37-38% of the time. He can hit all the slap singles in the world for all I care, his speed will turn singles into doubles.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        So all he needs is an OBP of .375 and you will be satisfied? I think an OBP of .325 is more realistic, and even with that, he can be a solid major leaguer.
        I think its funny that everyone assumes (and I also hope) that Austin will be a fine major leaguer, but the fact is its not a sure thing. That being said if we could get a solid major leaguer for Ajax and a couple a piching prospects, I would be all for it.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          An OBP of .375 would make him an All Star. Only three members of the 2008 Yanks have OBP numbers that high with a few others hanging around the .370 mark.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            Okay, so maybe I overshot the OBP expectation. .340-.350 better?

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              That probably makes more sense. The question then is do you slide him into the leadoff spot or the number 9 spot?

              It does seem though that the Yanks are eying Kemp or McLouth for CF this offseason.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                Nah, keep him in the 9 hole. Johnny Damon’s not going anywhere, and he’s a damn good leadoff hitter.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            I was just responding to what Mike said.

  • E-ROC

    I think Cashman will go out and get a CF for next season.

    • Steve H

      For which team?

      • Brian

        nice…

      • E-ROC

        The Yanks.

  • Brian

    So I was kidding my equally rabid brother-in-law Sox fan about how they needed to develop a “postseason rain solution” that was better than Pauley/Hansack…

    he just fired back at me that the last time the Yanks throttled the Sox 19-8, it turned out pretty well for them. Damn you, Chris Britton.

  • tomaconda

    Forget Mclouth he can hit but is nothing special defensively. The Yankees are a bad defensive team in my humble opinion. If I were to play arm chair gm I would trade for Ankiel who is available is a solid defender with the best outfield arm in baseball. I would let Gardner try and win the left field job. I believe in a full season you would get a 350+ obp and the type of speed that changes the outcome of a game. I would dh damon and get prospects for Matsui. Nady in right is a good option but if Abreu accepts arbitration nady will have good trade value. I am a big Giambi fan but he has to go as well. He can still hit but Greg Luzinski would beat him in a race. He clogs the basepaths and has no range at first. either sign tex or trade Cano for Loney who gets on base and plays good d. The cards have a second baseman available who plays good d so you could either get him in the Ankiel deal or sign Hudson who has some injury issues but plays well when healthy. The bullpen is set. Keep Joba in the rotation and sign one of the big three available. Cc,wang,joba,hughes,moose is a solid rotation if all healthy. Leave the bullpen with Coke, Marte, Melancon,Sanchez, Veras,Ramirez and Month in the pen.

  • Steve

    The more I see him play, and the more I hear Girardi rave about him, I’m starting to be convinced that Brett Gardner will be our starting CF next year.

    Girardi is very much into defense and run suppression, likes patient hitters and Brett is all of the above. Anyone who isn’t blind can see the havoc he causes on the basepaths. Girardi LOVED him in Spring Training this year, but Cash wanted him to get a full season in AAA. Girardi was interviewed on todays pregame show and Sterling said “If he could just hit .275, you could live with him out there” and Joe responded “If he hits .275, he’ll score 100-120 runs”

    I heard Stick say he thinks Gardner will be one of the best fielding CF in the AL within a year or so, and I don’t think he even has to wait that long. If nothing else, he keeps the seat warm for a mid season A-Jax callup.

  • tomaconda

    He is also a perfect number 2 hitter. He can bunt, hit and run,and with his speed should be good for 35 to 40 xbh.