Brett Gardner Daily Update: April 19, 2010
On Friday night, Gardner did not start the game. He came in as a pinch runner and immediately stole second base and then scored a run.
On Saturday. Gardner started in left field and went 3-4 hitting in the nine hole. He also scored two runs, drove in one run and stole another base. All of his hits were infield hits where Gardner used his speed to get on base.
When Yankee manager Joe Girardi was asked about the comparison, Girardi said: "I hope Gardy gets 2,000 hits in 10 years."
That was an interesting quote considering that on Friday night, Girardi had kept Gardner on the bench and started Marcus Thames in left. Girardi said that Thames had been having some good at bats and the platoon of Gardner-Thames seemed to be working well for the Yankees.
The implication was that Gardner would only play against right-handed pitchers. That will make it impossible for Gardner to average 200 hits a year.
On Sunday, Gardner became the leadoff hitter as Derek Jeter sat the game out with a head cold. Gardner went 2-3, had one walk, scored one run, and had two more stolen bases. He now has seven stolen bases in the 10 games he has played this year.
One of the hits for which he was given credit was questionable. Gardner hit a grounder toward second that went under the fielder's glove into right field. It was a play that any major league infielder should have made. But Gardner's speed makes every play different and it is hard to argue giving him a hit.
Gardner finished the weekend series hitting .333 with an on base percentage of .444. He has 10 hits in 30 at bats, all singles. He also has five walks against three strikeouts. He has been caught stealing only one time in eight attempts.
Nothing more could possibly be asked of the 27-year-old outfielder. One is left to wonder why Girardi, who has spoken so highly of Gardner for two years now insists on platooning him with Thames.
Gardner hit .290 in limited playing time against southpaws last season.
It is time for Girardi to turn this speedster loose, let him play every day, and finally figure out if he is a regular big leaguer.
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