Pitchers are taking advantage of Gardner’s passivity.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

24 thoughts on “Pitchers are taking advantage of Gardner’s passivity.

  1. What are you talking about? Wade Boggs is a future hall of famer, he doesn't need to adjust to anything. He'll be fine.

    Wait, what?

    Oh.

    Sorry, I thought it was 1996.

  2. I started noticing this trend with Gardner when he came back from the injury in the 2nd half last year. Then it almost made sense because he didn't have the strength to put good swings on the bat, he knew it, and his numbers suffered because of it.

    But this year, it's almost like Gardner has gotten into the habit of just sitting there taking for the sake of taking as if he were still hurt and then screwing himself when he falls behind in the count and has to swing defensively to stay alive. I swear he's 0-1 or 0-2 in the count more than anybody in baseball.

    (No, I have no statistical support for that statement)

  3. Player A: .150/.222/.225
    Player B: .167/.265/.267

    Can anyone tell me who these players are? 9 Games. No matter what our eyes are telling us, there's no "clear trend" over the course of 9 games. Yes, Gardner looked especially bad against Josh Beckett, especially with his leadoff K looking–but then again, so did the rest of the team.

    By the way–I'm not saying you're flat out wrong. 9 Games is equally bad as a sample size whether you're on the pro or con argument for Gardner. I can't erally sit here and tell you that what I've seen this season confirms the upside story, and that he'll repeat his tremendous 2010 performance. But I can say that statistically speaking, I'm much more comfortable relying on his 2010 sample than his 2011 sample to guess what he will do over a long period of time.

  4. Gardner has always been nothing more than a good 4th OF. Why the Yankees believe he can be more than that is beyond me. He is the perfect pinch-hitter/defensive replacement/spot-starter type player, yet the Yankees think he can be their leadoff hitter. It just doesn't make sense.

  5. By the way: "The perfect pinch-hitter/defensive replacement/spot-starter type player" is….Albert Pujols. He just happens to be a good starter, too.

  6. The things is if people think Gardner is a bad player and should move out of leadoff spot or even as a left fielder, who will be his replacement? The left fielder would likely be Andruw Jones and Jeter would most likely bat after Nick Swisher. IF Gardner can start to heat up just a little, then I would say having him where he is right now is the right move.

  7. I don't know if you can call 36 plate appearances a trend.

    His FPS% is 69.4%. That means that in those 36 plate appearances, Brett the Jett saw 25 first-pitch strikes. But if he had seen 21 first-pitch strikes, his FPS% would be 58%, and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    If I wanted to, I could make the case that Gardner's plate discipline has improved dramatically this year, since his O-Swing% is at a career low, and his Z-Swing% is at a career high. But alas, it's only 36 plate appearances.

    Data from a small sample size is kind of like modern art. We all think we can interpret what it's really telling us, but in reality, most of it is bulls**t.

  8. Yeah he has to put more balls in play early in the count but he also has to, you know, get hits with some of them. I'm a major skeptic on Gardner who thinks his admittedly outstanding results from last season were built in no small part on a higher BABIP than he can be expected to repeat consistently (this is not Ichiro Suzuki we're talking about here) and a walk rate that only a slugger can be expected to maintain. I would love for Gardner to prove me wrong but I'm not betting on it.

    That said, can we give the guy 100 -150 AB before we draw any definitive conclusions?

  9. Roadrider–

    To correct you, in fact, this IS Ichiro we're talking about here. At least with the BABIP. The reason Ichiro has such a high BABIP is that he has blazing speed. Blazing speed that happens to be roughly matched by Gardner. I'd bet, given the effects of age, that Gardner actually beats Ichiro in a footrace these days.

    But as Domonic mentions above–he does need to get better at making reads quicker. He's too tentative at the moment.