After a perennial sluggish start, the New York Yankees have smoothed out the kinks and are playing solid baseball again.
This doesn’t mean the Yankees problems are solved but it does show fans that the Bombers can still compete at the top, which was once again somewhat in question not so long ago.
At this point in the season, no team is home free. The likelihood of more slumps and injuries are as unavoidable as they are unpredictable but there are always concerns that teams can prepare for beforehand.
For the Yankees that concern is replacing the still injured Brett Gardner.
Gardner brings a dynamic to the Yankees that cannot be replaced with anyone on the 25-man current roster.
No one can steal bags like Gardner, but my concern is the lack of defense that is now in left field everyday.
THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Ibanez and Jones are excellent DH’s, and are good for the occasional start in the outfield but these two are not built to man the outfield and survive on an every other day basis.
Ibanez is 40 years old and has made the most start in left field with 35.
To no fault of his own, Ibanez has already missed many catches this season, which essentially prolongs the inning and can be harmful to a game’s outcome. Also, Ibanez batting average is .234 when manning left field; and as a DH he posts a .333 batting average and his bat has become vital to the line-up.
Wise is a 34-year old journeyman who might be defensively a better option but in his 15 starts in left he is posting a .067 batting average, with one hit and six strikeouts. And that is just not going to cut it.
And 35-year old Jones, who has 10 Gold Gloves in his trophy case as an outfielder, has not played the outfield everyday since 2007.
At the start of Spring Training this season, NY Post’s Joel Sherman wrote a promising article with Jones’ declaring to hitting coach Kevin Long, ‘to inform Yankees GM Brian Cashman that he was returning in 2012 to take someone’s job.’
Sherman also reported:
‘He (Jones) said he is going to show Joe Girardi he is still a viable center fielder if needed and — without naming names — he has taken aim at Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher for playing time.”
Well, that was a nice afterthought but how convenient would it have been if Jones really did get back to being even three-quarters of the player with Gardner’s absence.
THE POSSIBLE OPTIONS:
1) Now, the Yankees could always make a trade before the July 31st deadline but GM Brian Cashman is not going to give up the remaining half of the Yankees farm system for a substitute outfielder unless it can guarantee a championship. Exceptions would be maybe Nationals phenom Bryce Harper but that is NEVER going to happen.(…)
Read the rest of New York Yankees: Gardner solutions
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Post tags: Andruw Jones, Brett Gardner, Brian Cashman, Chris Dickerson, Dewayne Wise, Gardner, Ibanez, Joe Girardi, New York Yankees, Yankees