The Gardner option

That all might be changing though, if the words of general manager Brian Cashman are any indication. Making an appearance on The Michael Kay Show yesterday, Cashman was asked about possibly starting Gardner as the series moves to Detroit, and he responded by saying, “You could very well see Gardner in this big outfield that Detroit has. The way our offense is, it is a possibility. He deserves consideration considering what is going on right now.”

I’ve more or less understood where the Yankees’ reluctance to press Gardner into service is coming from, and so far it hasn’t really bothered me, but I think those days have come to an end. For one thing, the defensive upgrade could be a big factor in spacious Comerica Park, especially with Phil Hughes pitching tonight. Hughes is a fly ball pitcher, and with all of that ground to cover and Justin Verlander to match, he could use all the help he could get. Secondly, even if Gardner hadn’t taken a hack in two years, he couldn’t really be a worse option than Swisher or Granderson right now, who are not only black holes on offense, but have basically become near automatic strikeouts to boot.

If it were my call, Gardner would be starting in center field tonight and Granderson would be on the bench. I’m not super committed to playing Swisher over Granderson by any means, I just feel like the defensive difference between the two is largely overstated, and that Swisher was at least having solid at bats as recently as the ALDS, while Granderson has looked completely lost at the plate for over a month now. Either way, I think you have to give Gardner a chance, at least, at one of their expense, if only because you have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you’re the Yankees.

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.

4 thoughts on “The Gardner option

  1. Bench Granderson. Swisher has handled right field adequately, if not brilliantly. And as you say, he's had a couple hits and a few walks.

    Granderson? NADA. He's been catching balls hit to him, but Gardner WITH the broken wrist would be an equally good option at the plate at the moment.

  2. Gardner should play. Having him and Ichiro in the lineup would create havoc if they could get on base with any frequency.

    Are the calls for buying Granderson out increasing? He's not a $15 million player, even with 43 homers. I cannot believe that money couldn't be better spent elsewhere. $13 million (he's got a $2 million buyout) would probably get you one (or maybe more) pretty good players.

  3. Another sane and well thought out option that i know Brian and Joe will not take. Honestly Granderson and A Rod should be benched permanently, wish they could be removed from roster.

  4. One of the better contact hitters in the league? Gardner struck out 101 times in 2010 and 93 times in 2011. He is a singles hitter (and a mediocre one at that) with no power. The yankees can't string a few hits together so you might as well keep in someone who has a chance of hitting a homerun if they make contact.