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He should, says Greg Fertel after running the numbers:
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Over 35 games(similar to the 150 PA I used earlier), Gardner stands to save 6.07 more runs in the field than than Thames.
That is a significant amount over such a short period of time, but it sounds about right to me. The difference in range between Gardner and Thames is remarkably wide. The play we saw last night was an example of one that Gardner would make, and Thames turns into a double.
Overall, this gives Gardner a 0.72 run advantage over Thames, if we are just talking about starts against left-handed pitchers.
This platoon that the Yankees are employing doesn’t make much sense. Sure, the allure of Thames’s power against lefties is alluring, but his offensive value is not strong enough to compensate for his defensive flaws. Add in the fact that playing sporadically could affect each player’s rhythm and hitting, and it makes less sense.