Aug
11

Would the real Brett Gardner please stand up?

By

Credit: AP Images, Julie Jacobson

As the AL East tightens up a bit and the Yankees look to get back to their winning ways, a few glaring holes in the team’s lineup has emerged. We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on how Francisco Cervelli has gotten far more playing time than he deserves, but the Yanks’ catcher isn’t the only source of outs these days. Another key player — a speedy outfielder — went from an early season catalyst to a summer slumper. He is none other than Brett Gardner.

It’s a dangerous exercise to split a player’s season into smaller bits and pieces and then draw conclusions from them. Small sample size issues abound, and a player is generally the overall sum of his parts by the team the season ends. That said, Gardner’s recent play presents a stark contrast to his early season success.

The Yanks’ left fielder opened the season on a tear. Through May 9, he had 108 plate appearances and was batting .344/.425/.419 with 12 strike outs — or one every nine plate appearances. He had also stolen 14 out of 15 bases. From May 10 to June 21, his numbers underwent a regression. In 37 games, 34 starts, he enjoyed 149 plate appearances and hit a very respectable .310/.389/.434, but he struck out 21 times, once every 7.1 PAs. He was safe on nine out of 12 baserunning attempts.

In his last 39 games, the bottom has fallen out. Over 141 plate appearances, he’s hitting .195/.321/.280 with 35 strike outs or one very four times up. He has stolen just eight of ten bases, and since August started, he’s 2 for 26 with 11 strike outs.

It’s hard to stress just how bad Gardner has been since the start of July. He has a .290 wOBA, and his .601 OPS barely trumps that of Francisco Cervelli. At a time when the Yanks desperately need base runners who can wreck havoc, Gardner has disappeared from the scene, and his late-season swoon is raising questions about his Yankee future.

In the long-term, the team has a few options. They can market Gardner as a 2-3 win player who is cost-controlled for a few more years and has shown the ability to get on base at a high rate and steal bases. We know that his base-runner skills are suspect, but we also know that he has the speed to outrun his lesser running instincts. To replace Brett Gardner, the Yankees can throw money at Carl Crawford. The Ray’s outfielder is a free agent this winter, and he’s already put up a 5-win season with seven weeks to go. Gardner is very expendable, and the Yanks could probably get a high return for him.

In the short-term, though, the team has a problem. The team needs his outfield defense. Gardner has been the Yanks’ best outfield defender with a 7.0 UZR and an arm slightly below average. He has eight assists and has muffed just one play. But his glove work can’t mask his offense, and to that end, the team must consider Austin Kearns the other half of a left field platoon.

Kearns isn’t an All Star. So far this year, he’s been worth only 1.3 wins above replacement to Brett Gardner’s 2.8. His left field UZR puts him below average in the field, but he has a decent stick. With the Yanks, he’s hitting .273/.429/.364, and overall, he’s at .272/.357/.417. Unlike Gardner lately, Kearns isn’t an automatic out. It’s less than ideal, but unless Gardner can put the ball in play and get on base again, his playing time should dwindle.

We’ve seen this year what Brett Gardner can do and what he can’t do. He has approximately a quarter of the season left to send the Yanks a message that he, and not Carl Crawford, should be the left fielder of the future. Austin Kearns is here to put pressure on Gardner, and how he responds will impact both the Yanks’ pennant race and their long-term outlook. I like Brett, but lately, he’s making a doubter out of me.

Categories : Analysis
  • nsalem

    Brett looks way to tired to stand up right now. He looks really banged up both physically and mentally and I think a few days rest would do wonders for him. We knew he was playing above his ahead in the first part of the season and we should also know that he is much better than
    he has played in the last quarter.

    • Chris0313

      Amateur psychologists that explain away their favorite baseball player’s problems with “he’s mentally tired” bug me. Your analysis may be true, but what evidence do you have that supports it?

      I’ve never been a Brett Gardner fan. His approach scares me. Eventually, you have to figure that ML pitchers will realize that he will not hit the ball hard enough to hurt you even if you throw him strikes. This should cut down on his walks and hence diminishing his value. He is a great defender, and has speed. He’s a fourth outfielder.

      • nsalem

        My reason for believing that Brett is “mentally tired” is because of the frustration he has been exhibiting at bat since things have been going wrong for him starting several weeks ago. I have no other evidence and was merely stating an opinion not a fact. Intelligent human beings are capable of making such a distinction. You apparently do not think baseball is a mental game but I certainly do. Also you pompously inferred that Brett is one of my favorite players. What evidence do you have to support that?

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    True story. Brett Gardner has a .192 OPS in August.

    • Thomas

      Ahhhhh, my eyes!!!

    • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

      That equates to a -47 (!!!) OPS+

  • Pat D

    I think that the real Brett Gardner is somewhere in between what we’ve seen during his Jekyll and Hyde halves, but I think he’s closer to this version than to the awesome version of earlier this year.

    Basically I’m saying he’s just a fourth outfielder.

  • Dick Whitman

    Brett Gardner WAR in 2010 (104 G): 2.8

    Curtis Granderson WAR in 2010 (87 G): 1.6

    Not many people would have called those numbers in March, especially with majority of Gardner’s time in LF and Granderson’s in CF. Put Brett in CF the whole year, that number is in 3 win territory. Considering Brett costs virtually nothing, I’ll vote to stick with him. Has he sucked lately, absolutely, but he’s so much better than anyone ever gave him credit for 3 years ago or 3 months ago.

    • Tim

      I think you are missing the point. Most of Gardner’s value accrued during his insanely hot (and most likely aberrational) first 2 months of the season. He has been far worse than Granderson for much of the last 2+ months, which is really saying something (and that something ain’t good). Comparing full season WAR values is very misleading.

      • Dick Whitman

        wRC+ by month Gardner/Granderson

        April: 140/95
        May: 110/173(Granderson only 5 G)
        June: 189/101
        July: 115/106
        August: -56/25

        False. Comparing the month of August on August 11th is misleading.

      • Count Zero

        Yeah, I was gonna’ call you on that one too, but he did it first.

        The question at this point is: Platoon Kearns for Gardner or for Granderson? Who has sucked less? And who is more likely to benefit from some time off? I could be convinced into a platoon for either of them at the moment.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Regardless, I’d rather have Brett Gardner and Cliff Lee than Carl Crawford and [insert starter here].

    Gardy needs to learn how to attack a fastball and put it somewhere in play when he is slumping. It’s almost as if when he’s cold, he has literally no batter’s eye. He takes more 3rd strikes than anyone I can remember when he’s in these kinds of slumps.

    See post injury 2009 and post all-star break 2010.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    I think we can all agree that Brett is somewhere in between the two extremes. But it’s not like he was having Cervelliesque luck at the beginning of the season, he was getting solid hits. This is his first time playing a full ML season and I think he’s just wearing down. Hopefully we can get a comfortable division lead by September, so Girardi can rest him and he can be ready for the playoffs.

    Plus, if the options are to sign Crawford and not Lee or stick with Gardner for another year and get Lee, I’ll take the latter. The worst that happens is we give him one more shot and if he sucks next year, then it didn’t work out and we go get someone else.

    • Chris0313

      I disagree Kiersten. Brett Gardner was having Cervelli-esque luck at the beginning of the year. Every dribbler was finding a hole and seemingly every poorly hit looper was finding a hole in between the infielder and the outfielder. His OBP is his most impressive asset, IMO, and it will drop drastically because pitchers have realized that you can pitch to Gardner and he will not hurt you.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Two key differences between Gardner and Cervelli. Gardner’s IsoP is ~ .100, while Cervelli’s is ~ .065. Gardner can also use his legs to beat out some hits that Cervelli can’t.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Plus, if the options are to sign Crawford and not Lee or stick with Gardner for another year and get Lee, I’ll take the latter.

      Very much this.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I don’t think the options are not Lee and Crawford or not Crawford or Lee. I don’t see how the Yanks would be handicapped by money in that sense. They have enough coming off the books to make both possible, and don’t forget that A-Rod’s salary actually declines as he gets older so back-weighted long-term deals for Lee and Crawford could work economically.

      • Bret

        Not unless their payroll soars Benjamin. 144 committed, Jeter+Rivera+Lee+Crawford each at 20 million, Rivera for 15 is 219 million and that doesn’t include arbs for Joba,Hughes, etc. That also means no Pettitte, no DH. If they run their payroll up to 250 million I have to think major league baseball is going to step in and do something. The disparity is already ridiculous.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          If they run their payroll up to 250 million I have to think major league baseball is going to step in and do something.

          Good luck with that shit. We’ll see you in court.

          • Bret

            It wouldn’t be a good idea for the Yankees to sign those guys anyway. Lee will be 33 next season, Crawford will want a 6-7 year deal where he will be 36-37 at the end. Haven’t the Yankees learned their lesson on the Ponce de Leon search for the fountain of youth? Arod this year and for the next 7? Jeter this year? Posada with all the injuries.

            That is going to be a really, really old team in 3 years with a ton of money tied up. I would think twice about it.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          If we added Crawford and Lee, I think they’d sign a vet backup catcher and have Montero and Posada in some sort of DH/C rotation, so with Montero being 400K, you wouldn’t worry about that. With Lee, Sabathia, Burnett, and Hughes, they could also have a 5th starter from within, at the minimum (or Joba and whatever his arbitration is anyway.) It’s doable if they’re willing to go up to 225M. The advancing ages are a legitimate concern, but I don’t think the finances are.

          • Bret

            I’m just saying that you can only spend so much money before it becomes a problem. The Yankees are already exceeding the average payroll by a multiple of 3. They increase it 10-15% or more this offseason after the spending barrage two years ago I think every other team makes it a huge issue. Selig doesn’t want to upset the apple cart, he wants the Yankees to win because he makes huge money when that happens but there does come a point where an incredibly unfair advantage becomes preposterous. Lee/Crawford I believe crosses that line. And I think Selig has stepped in before, otherwise they would have signed Carlos Beltran among others because they certainly had the money.

            I think Lee stays with Texas, Selig will push for that with the new ownership in place – although like I said not sure it is a great deal long term.

      • Poopy Pants

        This is the first time I’ve ever read that the Yanks can afford Lee and Crawford (and Jeter and Mo). Did they announce that they are going to increase their budget by a large amount?

      • http://Twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

        Don’t forget CC’s contract INCREASES, as does Cano’s (IIRC) as well as arbitration raises, Jeter’s & Mo’s last big payday, and some extra cash for building the bench/bullpen, and I believe that it would seem financially unwise/difficult to sign both Crawford and Lee.

        I believe in Brett (at least I think that he can hit .285) and I’d rather have Brett+Lee than Crawford, whose game is bound to decline in a few years.

        /$0.02

  • Bret

    Here is Gardner’s batting philosophy. First pitch. Take. Second pitch. Take. Third pitch. Take. Repeat until pitcher has issued walk or struck you out.

    I’m really surprised the advance scouts didn’t pick up on this earlier, he made an obvious decision this offseason to take as many pitches as possible and until very recently pitchers just nibbled with him instead of going right after him. He has way, way too many walks given he isn’t a very dangerous or good hitter.

    • Chris0313

      This. All of this. This is what everyone fails to see.

      Brett Gardner is not a good hitter. He can hurt you with his legs, and that’s it. When he isn’t getting on base he has very little value. All a pitcher has to do is throw strikes and Gardner is a fourth outfielder.

      • Dick Whitman

        That’s awesome. You didn’t provide one sample of evidence, yet you are able to say Gardner provides little offensive value.

        • don draper

          What…are you mad man?

      • voice of reason

        Does anyone have a lot of value when they don’t get on base?

        Anyway, if we’re going to look at the last ten games in which Gardner’s been in an outrageous slide, we’ll see that he has 29 ABs, 2 hits, 13 Ks and no walks. I’m going to be lenient here and say that it would be foolhardy to chalk that up to “whelp, pitchers have figured him out: throw strikes.” Somehow, I doubt that that has only occurred to them starting around the beginning of August (in the preceding month, when he was also in a bit of a slide, he walked CONSTANTLY). I don’t have the wherewithal to check this out right now, but I would honestly be pretty shocked if the % of pitches in the zone to Gardner was much higher as of late. Just from personal observation, Gardner’s struck out looking an extraordinary amount lately, and several times on pretty awful calls.

        Over such a small number of PAs, not getting calls is a drastically more plausible explanation than saying the league just figured out how to pitch to him. He’s had zero luck on balls in play as well, did the league figure out where to play him at exactly the same time?

  • Chris0313

    Ben, what return would you expect for Brett Gardner? A solid, young cost-controlled reliever maybe?

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      What incentive do the Yankees have to trade him?

    • YankeesJunkie

      Using Victor Wang’s trade calculator, Brett Gardner’s value is right at $27.6 million if a team assumes he can produce 2.5 WAR over the next four years which he is team controlled. Using Wang’s valuation of prospects that would give the Yankees a Top 50 hitting prospect plus a throw in or a top 50 pitching prospect with one or two Grade B prospects.

      • Thomas

        Using Wang’s valuation of prospects that would give the Yankees a Top 50 hitting prospect plus a throw in or a top 50 pitching prospect with one or two Grade B prospects.

        I don’t know if this is really applicable to the Yankees. They likely wouldn’t trade Gardner for prospects, but instead use him as a piece for a veteran that would help them win next season.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Gardner has enough value where he would have to be given up for quite a good player that has years left on his contract. This the IF is locked up that leaves starting pitching and unless a team is not willing to give up a player who can give at 2-3 WAR the prospect route would not be the worst way to go.

  • Guest

    I really hoped/hope the Brett Gardner experience would work out. Cost controlled, brings a skill (an overrated skill, but still a useful one) that the Yankees really lack, and covers a ton of ground in the outfield. If he works out, it provides the Yanks with so much flexibility to spend money elsewhere (and for a few years to come).

    But, if he continues his tailspin, and Carl Crawford is out there, we have to assume the Yanks will go after Crawford. Crawford is an elite player entering his prime, but to get him the Yanks are going to have to dole out another long term contract and pay yet another player during his decline years. Given that one of Crawford’s key skills is his speed, and speed is the first skill to go, the back end of a long-term deal to Crawford might look ugly.

    • Murakami

      If speed is the first skill to go, at least Crawford has line drive abilty. Gardner is nearly exclusively dependent on his legs. We’re seeing now what happens when he tires – he has no answer at the plate. Crawford, at least, will drill the ball down the line and he’ll even line some homers into the right-field seats. He currently plays in lefty unfriendly park – the opposite of Yankee Stadium.

      Crawford is also a non pareil defender in left. He made a catch when Shields was on the mound in Yankee Stadium earlier this year that no one else could make. To have been there and to have seen it was to have believed it. The replay I saw later didn’t come close to doing it justice.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    We’re all gonna laugh about this at the end of the year.

    • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

      +1. I am a big believer in Gardner turning this around.

    • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

      if by the end of the year you mean December when the yankees will have signed Carl Crawford and traded Brett Gardner somewhere for pitching. then yes we’ll all be laughing!

      /not sure if i’m serious’d

    • Dick Whitman

      -1

    • Mattchu12

      This. Great speed and what appears to be a good eye gives me confidence. Just have to start being more aggressive out there. He is taking too many pitches and waiting too long to steal. It’s time to have Joe Girardi/Kevin Long sit him down and talk this one out.

  • Dick Whitman

    Brett Gardner’s BABIP this month: .133
    Brett Gardner’s career BABIP: .319

    Brett Gardner’s K% this month: 42.3%
    Brett Gardner’s career K%: 19.3%

    • Thomas

      Also,

      Career LD%: 18.4%
      August LD%: 13.3%

      Career GB%: 49.9%
      August GB%: 66.7%

      Career FB%: 31.7%
      August FB%: 20.0%

      Career IFFB%: 7.6%
      August IFFB%: 0.0%

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    Seems like his slump started after hit had hit a couple of homers…Anecdotally, it seems that many slap-hitting players fall into the trap of swinging for the downs…He’ll wake up and realize his limitations, way too early for panic….

  • Chris

    In his last 39 games, the bottom has fallen out. Over 141 plate appearances, he’s hitting .195/.321/.280 with 35 strike outs or one very four times up.

    In last nights game thread and this mornings recap numbers like this were thrown out, but they’re very misleading. The problem isn’t the last 39 games, or last 40 games, or last 2 months. The problem is the last 10 games.

    Ten Games.

    That’s how long Gardner has sucked.

    If you look at his last 39 games, they can be broken down like this:

    First 29 games: .236/.387/.337/.724
    Last 10 games: .069/.069/.103/.172

    He wasn’t lighting the world on fire in those first 29 games, but I’ll take a .387 OBP with no power every day of the week. Every time you throw out a stat that shows how bad Gardner has been for the last x games, it will encompass those last 10 horrific games.

    Looking at it another way, let’s look at his OBP for each 10 game stretch of the season going back to the start of the season:

    Games 95-104: .069
    Games 85-94: .405
    Games 75-84: .375
    Games 65-74: .447
    Games 55-64: .406
    Games 45-54: .487
    Games 35-44: .298
    Games 25-34: .341
    Games 15-24: .436
    Games 1-14: .420

    He’s had some normal ups and downs over the course of the season, but has looked completely lost for the last 10 games. And that’s really the only time that he’s struggled in the last 60 games.

    Let’s not over react to a short stretch of complete suckitude. Eventually the laser show will pick back up (can I use that because Gardner is white and gritty, or is that reserved for douches?).

    • Dick Whitman

      #arbitraryendpoints

    • Ellis

      Awesome comment. 10 days of on-fire Gardner and his season totals look great.

      (ps what’s gardner’s obp vs arod’s?)

  • YankeesJunkie

    Brett Gardner’s stats the last couple of months have been alarming, but he has produced in a bigger way that I could ever have anticipated if asked the same question just last year. Gardner is just going through an enlongated slump and he will return to somewhere between the two Brett’s of 2010. Brett Gardner is one of those players that provides value though even if his hitting is sub par. In the 42 games where he managed a .282 wOBA he still contributed 1.1 WAR. As long as Gardner is capable of hitting at an average level he will 2-3 WAR player for the Yankees.

  • ZZ

    It is funny how many Yankee fans scream for cost controlled young players and when they slump, young cost controlled cheap talent goes out the window and everyone wants to open the checkbook.

    The Yankee farm system has had an incredible year. In the coming years there will be a major influx of young talent on this team.

    How are Yankee fans going to be able to handle that with no patience for these kids?

    Gardner made huge strides in the offseason. For most of this season, he has not even been close to the same player offensively.

    This happens all the time with young players. They make huge leaps that just transform them as players. His swing went from an awful tomahawk that did nothing for his speed to a balanced and short swing. The easiest way you can see this change is in his drastic cut down in infield fly balls.

    He is now going through a period where his swing is getting inconsistent with that tomahawk thing going on and his numbers are horrid.

    That is not just a normal statistical regression (and this does not even take into account the fact that nothing about Gardner’s peripherals demonstrated the “need” for regression.) There could be a myriad of reasons for him going through. I think it is his thumb for example.

    But, that he is horribly regressing or is just this bad is the absolute last on the list. I could understand if he was putting up decent numbers. However, something is seriously off with Gardner right now.

    Is he that good of a player that he showed at the beginning of the season? Who knows?

    But, guess what with young players like Gardner, the only way to find out is to live through the ups and downs and Gardner has showed the up is very promising.

    However, the people denying the huge gains he has made in his ability at the plate and the drastic difference in his swing by screaming 4th OF just demonstrates how little you are able to discern from watching a baseball game.

    • Brian

      I couldn’t agree more with your points. Gardner has shown value in the field not only playing great D in LF but CF as well. The Yankees have an automatic out in Granderson who for a 29 yr old veteran still has a manageable contract and could net the Yanks a prospect or two in a trade.

      The Yanks have traded Tabata, Jackson, and Cabrera in 2 of the past 3 seasons and have seen very little return for any of these players.

      Why trade a cost controlled young player from your system just to keep a guy in Curtis Granderson who has never batted over .300 as a Yankee and won’t hit 20 HR’s like so many fans predicted, and isn’t as a good defensively or as fast on the base path?

      Sign Crawford and trade Granderson. Move Gardner to CF and your OF defense will be the best in the league. Get rid of Granderson once the season ends and stop complaining about the young players coming up, they need and deserve the time to mature at the big league level as Yankees and not Pirates, Tigers, or Braves.

      I use the same argument with Cervelli. Everyone knows he is a back up catcher but because the Yanks $13 million a year catcher can’t stay healthy and has provided very little this year when he does play the Yanks are forced to use Cervelli more than they should. Because Posada is having a terrible year the Yanks have to do something about Cervelli? Posada is the issue at the catcher position and Granderson is the issue in the OF. Complaining about the parts that need to compensate for those two just doesn’t make much sense.

      • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

        It does not make sense to trade Granderson now as his value is at the lowest it has ever been. Contrary to Gardner, Granderson has the track record to suggest he can do so much more, so why trade him now? Posada has a .361 wOBA as a catcher. Saying he is a problem is just.. wrong.

        • Brian

          Haven’t the Yanks made a habit of trading players at their lowest? I mean most players come to NY at their highest and then can’t cut in NY so they leave either with no compensation or they get lesser players in return since the Yanks overspent for them to begin with.

          • http://www.thesubwayconnection.com/ Newbie

            But there’s a lot to suggest that Granderson is better than his 2010 stats suggest, including years of past production. Why trade him now? Also, you said “Curtis Granderson has never hit .300 as a Yankee…” There is so much wrong with this statement, beginning with the fact that he’s been playing on the Yanks for a few months. Also, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Gardner have never hit .300 as a Yankee. Granderson does not need to hit the magic .300 mark to be productive.

            Also when you say “he won’t hit 20 hr.” I’ll give you hr totals over the last 4 years for a player, pretend you don’t know who it is:

            2006- 19
            2007- 23
            2008- 22
            2009- 30
            2010- 10 (in just 87 games)

            And then I tell you that ’06-’09 took place in a huge park. Which year seems like an aberration?

  • Jose the Satirist

    His plate discipline numbers for anyone interested by that stuff:

    Swinging Strike %: 2.7% (4th lowest in MLB)
    Contact %: 91.3% (5th highest in MLB)
    Zone Contact %: 98.4% (Highest in MLB)
    Swing %: 31.4% (Lowest in MLB)
    Out of Zone Swing %: 19.2% (6th lowest in MLB)
    Zone Swing %: 44.5%(!!!!) (Lowest in MLB)

    He makes amazing contact in the zone, but swings at pitches in the zone at a insanely low rate. Only a hand full of hitters have been below 50% for zone swing percent in the last 9 years. Gardner is on pace to shatter that number during the time it has been available.

    • Brian

      Very good stats. In his recent slump he has been caught looking at an amazing amount of balls right down the middle of the plate.

  • http://www.lessthismorethat.com/author/ddarrell Jamal G.

    Since his second call-up to New York on 8/15/08, Gardner has hit .277/.354/.381/.340 in 755 plate appearances with 65 stolen bases in 77 attempts, or a success rate of 84%. Is he the .300/.390/.400 guy we have seen for much of this season? I really doubt that, but a left fielder that gives you +10 in defense, +5 in offense and +7 on the basepaths over 600 PA’s is still a 3-3.5 win player.

    I have no significant doubts regarding Gardner’s ability to remain an above-average player and render Carl Crawford needless. Are you willing to bet that the latter averages ~6 wins during the life of his contract? Because he’ll need to produce about +3 wins over Gardner to be worth that $15M per year (plus luxury tax).

  • The209

    I didn’t have time to read every comment – so if someone already covered this, sorry! – but, I don’t really get the point of this article:

    the guy’s playing hurt.

    You quoted him pretty much saying precisely that twice (?) this week, right?

    Anyone at the beginning of the year would’ve signed up for .280 BA, top-fielding OF on the team, a bunch of runs / SB’s from this guy…

    The problem is your “4th OF” turned out to be your 1st/2nd OF this year, and when he needed some time off, he coudln’t take it -.

    I really like this site, but this article bugs me.

  • RAB is loco ese

    Sorry guys, but some of you are missing the point. This article is concerned with gardner’s recent decline and if he’s tired. But without a doubt I take Gardner and his potential over Grandy with his awful swing, below avg defense, and he’s 29 3-4 years older than Gardner. If anyone gets moved you move him and get a prospect back and try and sign Crawford or Werth to a 4-5 year contract. No more than five years. I give werth a three yr and Crawford 5 at most if possible. But one or the other. Lets give Grandy a full season and playoffs if we make it at this point. But if he continues to shit the bed trade him no matter how low is value has declined. You don’t get rid of Gardner because his return will be better. That makes no sense. You put best team on field and right now a majority of fans would rather leave Grandy on the bench when a lefty pitcher is in. And defensively he is not worth what Gardner is!
    By the way isn’t it funny that Grandy has gotten a pass from the media for his shit season but Arod and Tex and others were booed and ridiculed in papers.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      By the way isn’t it funny that Grandy has gotten a pass from the media for his shit season

      How in the world is he getting a pass? Did you see that stupid “Granderson is no Johnny Damon” article? He’s having a bad year and he’s being treated as such.

    • MikeD

      And what’s the evidence for Grandy’s below-average defense? He’s defensive statistics have been in the plus all year long, and basically Gardner and Granderson have flipped back and forth as to who had the better numbers. Right now Gardner has slightly better ratings, but Granderson’s are still very strong.

  • RAB is loco ese

    209 I agree whole heartedly. Maybe RAB should right another article about how Grandy has gotten free pass and has pretty much sucked albeit a few games.

  • RAB is loco ese

    Last note on this article by Benjamin. Austin Kearns should be pressing Grandy for playing time and not gardner. Unless Ben has an inside scoop otherwise I believe Girardi would rather have Gardner in CF and Kearns in Left than Grandy in big spots and against Lefties. Anyone disagree? Gardner is not making a doubter out of me because he’s been slumping in August and hasn’t stole a few bases when he had the chance. Grandy has made a doubter out of me for not being adequate and consistent at reading flyballs and for truthfully sucking offensively. Gardner has my vote RAB.
    Ben, please edit this article and change picture and name from Gardner to Granderson!

  • MikeD

    I’ve been officially on the bubble when it comes to Gardner, not quite buying his hot start but also not buying his recent slump. At the start of the year I thought if he could hit .270-.285 with a .360-.385 OBP then we’d be in really good shape. Well, he’s right in that target range nearly four-and-a-half months into the season.

    Kearns has been weak since a hot start in Cleveland. Why are we breaking down Gardner’s seasons in to parts but not Kearns, who had a hot April and has been pretty mediocre starting in May? Add in that Kearns was really, really bad for two straight seasons in 2009 and 2008, and I’m officially in the camp that Kearns has more to prove than Gardner. He is capable of getting hot, but I’d rather see him being used as a platoon with Granderson, not a replacement for Gardner, who is clearly in a slump. Some people overrated to his hot start. They’re doing the same with his slump.

    Last do we know for sure that Gardner’s baserunning is suspect? I don’t. There’s a wide gap between a very agressive basestealer and a suspect base stealer. I have him somewhere in between.

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    i really believe that if the yankees do not make the playoffs girardi is gone along with eiland.the yankees have some major decisions to make this off season.posada can only catch maybe three times a week.jeter has one big game a week.he should play ss maybe 4 times a week. they have no one to take rivera place if he goes down.if cashman thinks joba is the answer he has no idea what he is doing.the only team free agents they should sign are rivera,jeter and possibly moseley.let vazquez,gaudin,wood,pettitte,berkman,johnson,thames,and kearns all walk. go out and sign werth over crawford. sign lee over pettitte.sign dejesus to play rf.scott downs to team up with boone logan.sign soriano for the bullpen.call kansas city and offer joba,gardner,marte,nova,and mcallister for soria.call pittsburgh and offer granderson,phelps,warren and nunez for andrew mccutchen.

    • MikeD

      Would you like to throw another 70 players in your deals?

    • The209

      Wow. This post is so batshit-insane that i actually love it.

      • The209

        So i read this post, replied — then went to the link — where I saw that I’m using the same actual words/language as other posters here.

        /way-too-much-time-spent-here…

  • Captain Jack

    Hey, remember when you guys wrote that article about Teixeira? How’d that end up again?

    Just a little bit of mean reversion, if Gardner’s a .290/.370/.380 player no big deal…he is what he is. (NOTE: that may be optimistic)

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      If Gardner’s a .370 OBP player I’ll be very pleased. That’s basically what I concentrate on with him. That and good at-bats.

  • Mushy Carl

    Ledger_Yankees

    Long says he’s working with Granderson on a “total reformation of the swing.”

  • Murakami

    Gardner got the benefit of several HT calls when Texas and then ChiSox came in early in the season.

    He was awarded a string of hits on what clearly were errors. Konerko made two that should have been E3s in one game, IIRC. There was also that flyball that glanced off a CF’s glove, although I don’t recall which team it was. After that boost, he actually started to use the opposite field really well, and occasionally even had enough mustard to pull some pitches into right. But not enough to lead me to believe he’s ever going to be a guy with a real stroke.

    What is significant for me is that Gardner has a paltry 10 doubles. That is frankly awful for a guy with his speed, and shows just how little line drive ability he really has. Of course he’s tired. He has no way to sustain his bat without using his legs.

  • bebopalua

    I can’t believe all the (pun alert) hand wringing on Gardner. Can’t anyone see that his #’s fell off the table right at the moment he re-injured his thumb? Pardon the mixed metaphor, but that broken thumb from last year has become Gardy’s achilles heel.

    Up to this point in his career, he’s never really shown a consistent ability to drive the ball, but w/a couple of bombs earlier in the season was showing he was beginning to learn. Unfortunately, it appears now that injury has him slinging his bat through the hitting zone once again instead of taking the more precise & damage producing swing he had been taking prior to the re-injury.

    It looks to me like he’s unable to really take a torque heavy cut for fear he’ll hurt his hand even further. IMO, he’s playing hurt & he’s not helping anyone by doing so.

  • dalelama

    My problem with Brett Gardner has always been that he takes too many third strikes calls. But I will concede he looks damn good doing it. Call me old school but we were taught if you have two strikes and the pitch is close you swing. It is cliche but go down swinging man.

  • whitey

    I think it’s a good sign that the #9 hitter for the Yanks gets so much talk!

  • Colin

    Gardy is fine. People want to look at the stats, but in reality, he’s not hurting the team in any way. As a #9 hitter, him producing at the plate is a bonus. Sure he has to hit some to stay a starter, but really out of that spot the team needs you to do one thing: help win games. He definitely does that in the field and on the basepaths. And at the plate, he is great at getting guys over, getting on base, and working pitchers.
    As for staying in New York after this year, I don’t know why the Yanks should let him go. Every year, he gets better, and even know, he’s slowly working out of his slump at the plate. And the big thing is, he can handle playing in the Bronx, which you can’t say for a lot of ballplayers. I think he’s a great fit in pinstripes.
    Now Brett is my favorite player, so I’m probably a little biased, but after you look past the numbers, you can’t say he’s a liability to the chase for 28.

  • Colin

    Not sure how he can’t be improving and can’t be that .300 hitter he was for much of this season. He’ll be fine.