Gardner officially announced as starting center fielder

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Despite a strong finish to Spring Training by Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner will be the team’s starting center fielder, the Yankee beat writers are reporting. Joe Girardi announced this decision after the game today. Gardner will hold down the job until or unless his hitting becomes a liability. The Yankees will probably have both Gardner and Cabrera on the roster, and while Melky made a statement this spring, he’ll have to earn a starting job right now.

Will Stan's thrive with the new Stadium?
Open Thread: RAB on air with Mike Silva
  • pat

    So that means melky is 5th outfielder?

    • Jamal G.

      Yeah, but his main role is the backup center fielder.

      • AndrewYF

        He can also be a pinch-runner.

        • Slugger27

          id like my pinch runner to be a little faster, but yes he could… hes certainly not going to take any pinch hit at bats away from swisher

          i guess we could send him in there when we need a bunt or something… or maybe replace nady in the 9th inning for defense…. his arm and range would play very well in RF in the late innings

          • pat

            Only 34 SB’s in three years, not really ideal for a pinch runner. Basically he can be a late inning defensive replacement for whoever is playing RF.

            • Slugger27

              i know, thats why i said “id like my pinch runner to be a little faster”

              i would imagine posada or matsui would be the only players worth pinch running melky for… hes not fast enough to warrant taking valuable bats out of the lineup unless its late in the game, we’re down by 1, and its 1 of those 2 guys

              • pat

                I was agreeing with you, just showing the numbers incase people didn’t know.

              • andrew

                Well Melky could potentially pinch run for Matsui and then Swisher’s bat could replace Melky when the spot in the line up comes up. That way you gain the speed when needed without losing a ton with the bat.

    • Bronx Baseball Daily

      I suppose he’s a decent bat off the bench in an emergency.

  • Reggie C.

    I hope this gets Gardner 400 at-bats. Melky scuffled in ’08 but still managed 400 ABs. I would hope Gardner can improve the output from CF this year.

    • Slugger27

      he’ll improve defense one would imagine… so even replicating melkys miserable triple slash at the plate would be an improvement… that being said, it wouldnt be improvement enough, and if that were to happen id imagine melky would be back in there or damon/swish would become our CFer

  • kSturnz

    his second go around at the same league is cause for optimism. Hope that melk stays focused…

    • pat

      True that he has improved every time.

  • DP

    I almost hate to say it but I think I agree with Pete Abe’s opinion that Pena should make the team over Berroa. Yeah, Pena can’t do anything with the bat, but how many at bats are we really talking about (hopefully)? And Berroa isn’t exactly a modern day Honus Wagner out there. Plus, like he points out, Pena can pinch run and if Girardi has the cajones, Pena could be a defensive replacement for Jeter (a very good one).

    • Jake K.

      What’s the story with Pena? Is he a non-prospect/future bench player because of his bat? Or is there some hope there?

      • Slugger27

        scouts lust over his glove, thats not the problem

        hes a guy who has raised his stock a lot during spring training, and the debate is over whether he’ll ever hit enough at the ML level to be an everyday starter

        i would think his floor would be utility infielder/defensive replacement and his ceiling would be orlando cabrera (or in that neighborhood)

        joe posted something last night saying an NL scout thinks hes an everyday SS… time will tell

        • pat

          Only 34 SB’s in three years, not really ideal for a pinch runner. Basically he can be a late inning defensive replacement for whoever is playing RF.

          • pat

            ugh wrong place

    • Slugger27

      lol jeter pulled in the 9th inning for defensive reasons… girardi would have to have some SERIOUS onions….

  • striker
    • Thirty5Thirty6

      Joba Chamberlain
      15 2 32 32 0 0 0 205

      185 65 72 60 220 2.85 1.20

      Really? 32 games started? 65 ER in 205 IP is a 3.15 ERA.

      • Slugger27

        we can hope cant we?

        • whozat

          We can hope they WON’T be so stupid as to run Joba out there for that many innings, yes.

          • Slugger27

            i was speaking more towards the prediction of ERA and overall success… but yes, good point

      • pat

        205 IP? Wowsers, that’s pretty optimistic. Only a 100 IP jump from last year, no big deal.

        • Steve H

          A-Rod 155 games is another slightly optimistic guess.

          • Slugger27

            wait so hes not talking about his mlb the show franchise team?

    • andrew

      File this under “wildly optimistic”

  • touchtoneterriost

    Wonder how long do the Yankees believe Brett will be in center field.Just like Melky two years ago scouts knew Melky was overrated and a 5th outfielder but the Yankees had their heads up their @$$.

    Hopefully Gardner will be in triple A by June.No more Shelly Duncans,Scott Proctors,Ian Kennedys,Melky Caberas which I mean as overrated AAAA prospects.

    • Slugger27

      “hopefully gardner will be in AAA by june”

      so your pulling against him? are you not a yankees fan?

    • whozat

      Yeah! They should trade Jackson to teh Dodgers for Juan Pierre RIGHT NOW! Get a Proven Winner! He’s got a RING!

    • Steve H

      I don’t even know where to start….

      • Mike Pop

        Just don’t.

      • pat


    • Yankeegirl49

      Wow..just wow

    • Mike R. – Retire 21

      Who knew Rush Limbaugh was a Yankee fan? Welcome to RAB Rush!

    • jsbrendog

      no more scott proctors? one of the most recently successful bullpen arms? its not hsi fault he was torre’d.

  • Drew

    Wow, Tiger Woods is still ridiculous.

    • JT

      He’s not human.

  • Rob S.

    Gardner will be great if he only swings the bat. He is well aware of what his problem was last year. He was standing up there taking to many pitches. Now he swings earlier in the count and the result is his near .400 avg. He is fast enough to beat out a lot of groundballs so there is no point in him trying to work the count. A bench of Swisher, Melky, Molina and Pena/Berroa sounds ok to me.

    • whozat

      “Now he swings earlier in the countit’s spring training and the result is his near .400 avg.”


      • steve (different one)

        wait, are you saying that Angel Berroa might not hit .358/.370/.585 and Shelley Duncan might not hit .344/.417/.594 this season?

        • Joe B.

          I think Shelley actually has half a shot of putting up that line in AAA ;x

      • John

        its actually .418…

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