New York Yankees

Yankees' 2010 Outfield Appears Very Weak

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04:  Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees won 7-3. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IDecember 29, 2009

If tomorrow were April 4 and the Yankees were opening their season in Fenway Park, their outfield would be very suspect.

The projected fly shaggers right now are Brett Gardner in left, Curtis Granderson in center, and Nick Swisher in right.

Brian Cashman has said in as many ways as he possibly can that he is not going after a big name to fill in at left field, so you can forget Matt Holiday.

The Giants just signed Mark DeRosa which took away one possibility that many thought would be a viable upgrade to the Yankees' outfield.

Jermaine Dye has been suggested and I suppose Johnny Damon is still a possibility even though Cashman seems to think Damon's asking price through mouthpiece Scott Boras is just too high.

So Yankees fans may be left with Gardner, Granderson and Swisher.

Granderson has a career average of .272, but hit only .249 last year. He has a career on base percentage of only .344 and has a 162 game average of 149 strikeouts.

Nick Swisher has a career average of .245, a career on-base percentage of .357 and has averaged 142 strikeouts for an average season of 162 games.

Gardner has only played part of two years. His average is .256, although he did raise that to .270 in that part of the 2009 season in which he played. Gardner's career on-base percentage is .345 and he has averaged 76 strikeouts over 162 games.

So the Yankees could feature an outfield that has a combined batting average of about .250 with an on-base percentage of .350 or so. And they figure to combine for about 365 strikeouts.

With the signing of Nick Johnson, he figures to take Johnny Damon's place in the two hole behind Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira will bat third, Alex Rodriguez fourth, Jorge Posada fifth and Robinson Cano may move up to the six slot.

That will leave the last three hitters as Swisher, Granderson and Gardner. Not much to put fear in the pitching staffs of American League teams.

On defense, Gardner has been somewhat erratic and has not played left field consistently, which is a hard place to play in Yankee Stadium.

Granderson is thought by many, including former coach Andy Van Slyke, as not a pure centerfielder and might be better positioned in a corner.

Nick Swisher is always an adventure on defense. Swisher was not acquired following the '08 season to play as a regular outfielder, but that is where he is now and he is the worst the team has had at that position in many, many years.

If some rabbit is not pulled out of the trade hat or Cashman does not get permission to spend some more of George's money on Holiday, the Yankees will have one of the least productive outfields in the major leagues as they open the season in Boston.

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