Archive for Brett Gardner
2:26pm: Nevermind, apparently there was just a typo on the board in the press box. Ichiro is starting and batting second tonight.
2:20pm: Here’s a shocker: Brett Gardner is starting in left field over Ichiro Suzuki tonight. Ichiro is 7-for-12 lifetime against Orioles starter Jason Hammel, which leads me to believe he’s banged up. Curtis Granderson has moved up to second in the lineup while Gardner will hit ninth.
It was just a footnote in last night’s win, but Brett Gardner got an eighth inning at-bat and actually took some swings. He’s been taking batting practice over the last few weeks but has limited to pinch-running/defensive replacement duties off the bench in games. Joe Girardi confirmed last night that his Opening Day left fielder has been cleared by doctors and has zero restrictions going forward. That obviously gives him a leg up on a potential postseason roster spot.
“It’s definitely something you have to think about now … When you talk about a playoff roster, sometimes you have one extra spot for that runner. Now that he’s a full player, it makes it a little bit different,” said the skipper. Girardi added that he does not consider Gardner a full-time player going forward because he hasn’t faced enough big league pitching lately, which is really just a nice way of saying there’s no way in hell they’re taking Ichiro Suzuki out of the lineup considering how well he’s hitting. Still though, having Gardner back to 100% is a huge upgrade for the bench going forward.
Six questions and five answers today, so we’ve got a good mailbag this week. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box to send us questions throughout the week.
Vinny and many others ask: If the Angels are serious about not picking up Dan Haren’s option, should the Yankees be all over that?
Earlier this week there was a report indicating that the Angels plan to decline Haren’s (and Ervin Santana’s) club option for next season and instead pursue a monster extension with Zach Greinke. Haren, 32, is nearing the end of his worst full season as a big leaguer, pitching to a 4.32 ERA (4.30 FIP) in 29 starts and 170.2 innings. He’ll fail to make 33 starts or crack 210 innings for the first time since 2004, when he was with the Cardinals. Blame the lower back stiffness that led to his first career DL stint.
Based on Twitter these last few days, fans of every single team want their club to pursue Haren if the Angels do indeed decline his $15.5M option. Haren is from Southern California and has made it no secret that he prefers playing on the West Coast, so right away the Yankees are at a disadvantage. It’s also worth noting that his strikeout rate is in the middle of a three-year decline, and his fastball velocity has been heading in the wrong direction for years now. That second link is particularly scary. The back issue scares me as well, especially if the Halos do cut him loose. It’s the whole “what do they know that we don’t?” thing. Haren has been a great pitcher for a long time, and that alone makes him worth looking into. There are a number of red flags however, so any team interested in signing him will have to really do their homework.
Travis asks: Is it safe to assume that if we only carry three starters on the post season roster, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova will have a role on the team out of the bullpen? I’m also assuming the three starters go to CC, Hirok!, and Dandy Andy.
The new playoff system and schedule really discourages the use of three-man rotations, since everyone would have to pitch on three days’ rest after Games One, Two, and Three to get away with it. CC Sabathia can do that (assuming the Yankees actually get into the postseason), but I’m not sure Hiroki Kuroda or Andy Pettitte could. I expect the Yankees to use four starters throughout the postseason, and right now the number four guy is clearly Hughes. Nova pitched himself out of the job these last two months or so.
Now does that mean Nova would automatically go to the bullpen? I don’t think that’s a given. Assuming the Yankees only carry eleven pitchers into the postseason (they could get away with ten, but I doubt it happens), four will be the starters and four other spots are accounted for: Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Boone Logan. That leaves three spots, one of which I assume will go to Clay Rapada. The candidates for the final two spots would be Nova, David Phelps, Cody Eppley, and I guess Derek Lowe (veteran presents!). Phelps seems like a given in this situation, then you’ve got your pick of the other three. I guess that decisions comes down to who throws the best the rest of the way, but frankly I would rather see the Yankees carry an extra position player in that situation, especially if Mark Teixeira‘s calf remains an issue.
Ben asks: Don’t you think Chris Dickerson needs to figure into the Yankees big league plans in 2013? At least as a 4th outfielder? This guy is a great fielder and base runner and had a useful bat. Much rather have him over another Andruw Jones-type. What say you?
Might as well lump these two together. If the Yankees do make the playoffs and use an 11-man pitching staff, they’ll have room for an extra bench player. That spot tends to go to a speedy pinch-runner type (think Freddy Guzman in 2009), a job for which both Gardner and Dickerson are qualified. Gardner is the better player, but he also is physically unable to hit right now. I have a hard time thinking the Yankees will carry someone on the postseason roster that can’t even swing the bat in case of an emergency. Maybe that changes and Brett is cleared to take his hacks at some point in the next six days, but that doesn’t seem likely based on everything we heard for the last four months.
As for next year, Dickerson’s situation depends largely on what happens with Nick Swisher. If they let him walk, then the outfield need will be greater and they should hold onto him. If they bring Swisher back, having a left-handed outfielder on the bench doesn’t make a ton of sense. I’m probably the biggest Chris Dickerson fan you’ll find, but he is just a platoon player at the plate. More of a high-end fourth outfielder than an everyday corner guy on a contender. As much as I would like him to see him stick with the club going forward, Dickerson isn’t a great fit for the roster right now.
Shaun asks: Hey Mike, do you know who would have home field if the Yankees and Rangers tied for the best record? Thanks.
The Yankees are currently two games back of Texas for the best record in the AL, and New York would get the nod as the top team in the circuit if they tie because they won the season series 4-3. They won’t play a tiebreaker game or anything like that, that only happens when the division title or a playoff spot in general is on the line. So yeah, the only thing the Yankees would have to do to secure home field advantage in both the ALDS and ALCS would be to finish with the same record as the Rangers, nothing more.
Steven asks: Mike, not sure if you’re aware, but Mike Trout is good at baseball. I was wondering, hypothetically speaking of course, if the Angels were to make him available, what sort of haul would he bring? Do you see his value getting any higher than it is right now? And, finally, what sort of package would the Yankees have to piece together to get these hypothetical talks started?
I don’t think any player in baseball has as much trade value as Trout. You’re talking about a just-turned-21 kid who has already shown he can play at a superstar level. He hits homers, steals bases, hits for average, gets on-base, and plays great defense at a premium position. Plus he remains under the team control for five more seasons, the next two at the league minimum. It’s impossible to top that, and I don’t think he could possibly increase his trade stock unless he agrees to like, a ten-year contract worth $25M or something ridiculous.
There’s no way for the Yankees to acquire Trout even if he was available. What do you start the package with, four years of CC Sabathia and one year of Robinson Cano while offering to pick up the bulk of the money? I wouldn’t take that for Trout. Offer me Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and a guaranteed to be healthy Michael Pineda and I still would say no if I were the Angels. If the Giants come calling and put both Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner on the table, then yeah that catches my attention. The Yankees don’t have anything to get a trade done, I just don’t see how it would be possible. I don’t think Trout can replicate this season (or even improve on it) year after year, but he’s going to be great for a long-time. At his age and with that much cost-control remaining, he’s the single most valuable asset in the game.
The Yankees have activated both Brett Gardner and David Aardsma off the 60-day DL. Although Gardner has been taking batting practice and whatnot, I assume he will be limited to pinch-running and late-game defense duties from here on out. Aardsma is unlikely to see any meaningful innings.
To clear spots on the 40-man roster, both Steve Pearce and Justin Thomas were designated for assignment. Casey McGehee can hit lefties just as well (probably better, actually) as Pearce, but he offers more versatility and big league/pennant race experience. That last part probably doesn’t matter much. I thought the Yankees would keep Thomas as the third lefty for the final week of the season, but I guess Cory Wade built up enough good will last year and earlier this season to keep his job.
Via Jeff Bradley, outfielder Brett Gardner will take his hacks in live batting practice today. “I feel great,” he said. “I have hit in the cages this week. Soft toss. And once I hit live on the field, I think I’ll be able to show that I’m 100 percent and ready to play. My body feels like it’s March. I’m excited to get back on the field and help any way I can.”
The 29-year-old Gardner has missed basically the entire season with an elbow injury that (eventually) required surgery. We’ve been hearing that he’s close to being activated as a pinch-runner/defensive specialist for a few days now, though I wonder if this new batting practice stuff means he’ll be able to hit in games as well. That would be huge, especially against right-handed pitchers. Stick Gardner in left, Ichiro Suzuki in right, Nick Swisher at first, Raul Ibanez at DH, and they’re good to go.
Via Mark Hale, manager Joe Girardi said that the Yankees are planning to activate Brett Gardner off the DL before the end of the season, they’re just not sure when exactly. “It’s going to happen,” said the skipper. “I just can’t tell you exactly what day … We’re just not quite ready to make the move yet.
Gardner, 29, started a light hitting program earlier this week and has been running the bases/taking fly balls for a bit longer. The Yankees won’t be able to use him as anything more than a pinch-runner/defensive replacement down the stretch, which I suppose is better than nothing. The club will have to make a 40-man roster move to activate Gardner off the 60-day DL though, and frankly I have absolutely no idea who will get the boot. Could be Derek Lowe, Casey McGehee, Steve Pearce, Cory Wade, Justin Thomas … lots of candidates.
Via David Waldstein, outfielder Brett Gardner has started a hitting program and could have been activated in time for tonight’s game had it not been rained out. He is still a ways off from hitting in a game and would have been limited to pinch-running and late-game defense only. It sounds like Gardner will be activated one way or the other very soon, which will require a 40-man roster move.
Brett Gardner has only played in nine of the team’s 144 games this season, but it’s possible the Yankees will have their speedster in a limited capacity for the stretch run. Gardner ran the bases and practiced bunting on the field today, and Joe Girardi said it’s a “possibility” they will use him as a pinch-runner/defensive specialist in the coming weeks.
A right elbow strain/bone bruise suffered sliding for a ball in April has kept Brett on the shelf basically all season, though he did end up having three different setbacks during his rehab before finally having surgery earlier this summer. The Yankees would have to make a 40-man roster move to activate Gardner off the 60-day DL, which really isn’t a huge deal. It’s always a concern when a player can’t swing a bat, but expanded rosters should allow Joe Girardi to limit his usage.
Brett Gardner had surgery to remove inflamed tissue and shave down bone spurs in his right elbow late last month, but there’s a chance he could rejoin the Yankees as a pinch-runner/defensive specialist when the rosters expand in September. “If there’s a way he can help us, we’ll definitely use him,” said Joe Girardi today. “If there’s certain things that he can’t do and it’s during the month of August, then you’re kind of limited and you limit your roster. But with an expanded roster, if he can help us, we’ll definitely use him, if it doesn’t jeopardize him getting back next year.”
The Yankees have used guys like Greg Golson and Freddy Guzman as their pinch-runner/defensive replacement late in the season in recent years, and if Gardner can’t return in September that responsibility could fall onto the shoulders of Melky Mesa. He was just promoted to Triple-A and homered in his third game yesterday. Mesa’s already on the 40-man roster, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets the nod if needed.
Brett Gardner will have arthroscopic surgery to remove inflamed tissue in his right elbow next week, the Yankees announced. Team doctor Dr. Ahmad will perform the procedure and it will likely end Gardner’s season.
Gardner suffered a bone bruise and an elbow strain on a sliding catch in the team’s 11th game of the season and has since suffered three setbacks during his rehab. He made it as far as minor league games in the first two attempts. The Raul Ibanez-Andruw Jones platoon has been absurdly productive in left field in the meantime, but the Yankees really lack speed on offense without Gardner. Plus their defense suffered big time. Whether or not they try to plug the hole via trade remains to be seen.