Tonight poses fewer problems as the Rangers will feature a left-handed starter in Derek Holland. Andruw Jones will play left and he is still a decent outfielder at the corners. He looked a bit sluggish in Boston and you have to wonder how his knee is doing. But the decision to play him in left is at least a little less troublesome than the last two games of the series that will feature right-handed starters, Yu Darvish and Scott Feldman. It seems certain the Yankees will put Ibanez in left for those two games.
On the one hand, more lefty bats with pop and patience in the lineup against the thus-far wildness of Darvish is a good thing. But with a team that can hit like the Rangers, having a plodding, no-range outfielder plumbing the depths of the ballpark in Arlington could be a problem. It seems doubtful the Yankees would trust Eduardo Nunez to play out there and even less likely for him to do so against right-handed pitching.
All teams have injuries and the Yankees are no different. As often as Gardner can be frustrating in the lineup, his defense in left has always been comforting. Against an explosive Rangers’ offense, it would be nice to have an outfielder that can go get the ball like Gardner can. But it is not to be and the Yankees have to hope their forty year old outfielder will not cost them too many runs in left for ten more long days. And those ten days will include the wide open spaces of Comerica Park and Yankee Stadium. Curtis Granderson better bring his track shoes.