UPDATED: A switch in the outfield

According to reports from Tampa, Curtis Granderson is going to start taking flyballs in left field which means Brett Gardner will be shifted into centerfield.

This move is a no brainer for the Yankees. Gardner is one of the better defensive outfielders in baseball and with his speed, he can cover a lot of ground. And talk of this move has been happening since before training camp even started. Truthfully, it probably would have been made if Gardner hadn’t had been injured so early in the season last year.

Gardner, who only played in 16 games during the 2012 regular season – nine before the injury and seven during his late season return from surgery – would be the primary centerfielder for the first time in his Yankee career if this actually comes to fruition. Gardner shared centerfield duties with Melky Cabrera in 2009.

UPDATE: Girardi was quoted on the possible Granderson/Gardner switch. He said, “We’re going to toy with it and see if we like it.” He added, “If we do, we’ll stay with it.”

Hopefully, they like it.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

4 thoughts on “UPDATED: A switch in the outfield

  1. David

    How could they NOT like it? Granderson couldn't be worse in LF than he was in CF and, worst case, Gardner would be "average" in CF which is a huge net positive, no? On top of Ichiro's generally-good defense in RF… could be good!

  2. uyf1950

    Gardner has played nearly 200 games in CF so there really isn't any learning curve on his part. Granderson is the one that has to learn LF he has virtually no experience playing LF during his career. In spite of that I think it's a good move for the Yankees to switch them.

    • srosegots

      Yep, I'm not worried about Gardner at all. It'll be interesting to see how Granderson does. At least he's receptive to the idea.

  3. Tynamite

    Gardner's defensive metrics are off the chart (and hopefully they stay there). The way I see it we went from having a great LF and bad CF to a great CF and at least an average LF, if not better. I'm convinced Granderson's numbers are hurt because he insists on playing so damn shallow in center for whatever reason. Perhaps that corrects itself when he moves to left. It's not like he's slow or unathletic.

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