I do understand Girardi’s comments that he’s trying to get Andruw Jones at-bats. But until Gardner starts playing regularly against lefties, it makes me raise an eyebrow. Jones has been much better against lefties than righties, and has a 120 wRC+ against them compared to Gardner’s 111 wRC+ against southpaws. It’s better, but it’s not so much better than Gardner, especially considering defense and baserunning, that Jones has made the choice obvious. The Yankees didn’t platoon Granderson against lefties last year, when he legitimately struggled terribly against lefties for most of the season. Derek Jeter’s numbers against righties are pretty hideous, but I don’t think the Yankees would imagine platooning him.
In the end, we have to hope that what Girardi says is true – that he does trust Gardner against lefty pitchers, and he’s just trying to get Jones going. I thought the Jones signing was a good one – he gave the Yankees insurance in case both Granderson and Gardner struggled badly against lefties and unlike Marcus Thames in 2010 he could actually play the field – but I hope it isn’t costing one of the more valuable players on the team playing time because of an unnecessary platoon situation.