Gardner officially announced as starting center fielder


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.

Categories : Asides, News


  1. pat says:

    So that means melky is 5th outfielder?

    • Jamal G. says:

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

      • AndrewYF says:

        He can also be a pinch-runner.

        • Slugger27 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

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

              • andrew says:

                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.

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

  2. Reggie C. says:

    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 says:

      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

  3. kSturnz says:

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

  4. DP says:

    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. says:

      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 says:

        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

    • Slugger27 says:

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

  5. touchtoneterriost says:

    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.

  6. Drew says:

    Wow, Tiger Woods is still ridiculous.

  7. Rob S. says:

    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.

  8. [...] IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) in the fourth thanks to a pair of bunt singles by Ramiro Pena and starting centerfielder Brett Gardner. Robbie Cano sent a ball into the people as did Nick Swisher, although Swish’s hit the field [...]

  9. [...] Brett Gardner won the job, but how long will he keep it? He certainly won’t hit .377-.441-.623 all season like he did this spring, and heck, if you chopped 120 points of those numbers across the board, you’d have to be ecstatic about what he’s giving you. But if Gardner can’t cut it, the job goes to Melky Cabrera by default, and let’s just say that’s not something we’re looking forward to seeing. If these two guys can’t hack it, the team has three options: [...]

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