Results tagged ‘ Brett Gardner ’

Does Colon deserve another start?

TORONTO — Today, Joe Girardi will call Bartolo Colon into his office to ask him if his strained left hamstring is healthy enough for him to pitch and, most importantly, be effective. And Colon, in typical Colon fashion, will likely tell him he’s perfectly healthy and it’s just a mental block he has to overcome.

But is that entirely true?

He did hurl six shutout innings against the Mets in his first start back from the disabled list. But he was hit around against the Rays after that, then couldn’t get through a nightmarish first inning against the Blue Jays last night. Girardi says the Yankees simply didn’t play good defense behind Colon (which is true, considering Brett Gardner‘s bad read on an eventual double and Eduardo Nunez‘s error on an inning-ending chopper). Russell Martin says the Blue Jays were stealing signs from the get-go (which, if true, would definitely give opposing hitters a big advantage). And Colon (pictured left by The Associated Press) says he’s pitching scared with his left leg; meaning he’s not landing firm enough in order to get enough life on his pitches.

That’s a whole lot of explanations (some would call them excuses), but the reality is quite simple: Colon hasn’t been as good lately as he was throughout the year. And when you consider he’s 38, only made 19 big league starts from 2008-10 and (let’s face it) isn’t in top-tier physical condition, it’s concerning, even if the sample size is quite small.

The Yankees at least know they have options if they decide Colon can’t start for them, with Ivan Nova in Triple-A and having the experience of pitching in the big leagues this year. (Nova gave up three runs in seven innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night, by the way.)

The question is: Should the Yankees give Colon another shot and allow him to make his next turn in the rotation? Or do you recall up Nova and put Colon in the ‘pen?

We may know more about Colon’s situation pregame, and we’ll definitely have some lineups then.

For now, here are some links from last night you might’ve missed …

* Colon, Yankees endure tough night in Toronto

* Martin accuses Blue Jays of sign stealing

* Yanks ink lefty Romero to Minors deal

* Yankees Notebook, on Jeter’s reaction to All-Star Game criticism, Colon’s surgery documents, Golson’s call-up, Soriano’s future and the record Jeter and Posada now share


Brett Gardner to lead off vs. right-handers

The Yankees have decided how they want to stack the top part of their lineup, planning on having Brett Gardner lead off against right-handed pitchers with Derek Jeter batting second, beginning with tomorrow’s opener against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said that “you can bank on” having Jeter in the leadoff spot against left-handed pitching.

Gardner hit .287 (97-for-338) off righties last year, posting a .387 on-base percentage and .391 slugging percentage. Jeter hit .246 (111-for-451) off righties, with a .316 on-base percentage and .317 slugging percentage.

“It possibly gives him 50-60 more at-bats during the course of the year. Maybe 70,” Girardi said of Gardner. “If he’s on close to 40 percent of the time, he’s going to score more runs. It doesn’t take a lot. Maybe he can steal second and steal third, [and score on a] sac fly. We think he’s going to score more runs, and that’s why we’re doing it. And just how he’s able to disrupt pitchers.”

Off lefties in 2010, Gardner was .252/.373/.353, while Jeter was .321/.391/.481. Jeter’s career numbers against lefties are .335/.408/.498, compared to .307/.377/.437 against righties.

Assuming Curtis Granderson comes through his Minor League game fine in Tampa this afternoon and joins the team in New York tonight, this could be the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup:

Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Jorge Posada DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Russell Martin C, CC Sabathia LHP

If Granderson needs to be scratched, the Yankees would probably start Andruw Jones in left field, moving Gardner to center field.

  • Also, righty Luis Ayala will be the 12th man on the pitching staff, replacing lefty Pedro Feliciano, who is headed for the disabled list. The Yankees announced the Ayala move this afternoon, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News got the heads-up hours earlier. How? This one’s a case of right place, right time: Ayala was sitting next to Feinsand on the flight to Newark this morning.

Yankees won’t have set lineup

Good stuff from Pete Caldera today in the Bergen Record, who caught up with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long via telephone:

Long said the Yankees will not have a set lineup going into Spring Training, instead using the exhibition season to determine what their best fits might be. 
That means the Yankees should be open to thinking about Brett Gardner as the everyday leadoff hitter, moving Robinson Cano into the three slot, dropping Derek Jeter in the order and most of the other topics that have been thrown around during the Hot Stove season. 
“I think we need to [experiment]. It’s important we throw all the options out there,” Long said. “I wouldn’t say we have a set lineup going into camp. We’ll toy with it.”
Long is meeting with Nick Swisher this week and has also been setting up sessions to work with Jeter in Tampa. He has already worked with Alex Rodriguez and says that he seems to be “on a mission” like he was before his 2007 MVP season. Curtis Granderson could also brush up with Long this month. 

Gardner to have wrist surgery

The Yankees announced Wednesday that Brett Gardner has been scheduled for surgery next week in New York, addressing tendinitis in his right wrist.

You’ll no doubt remember the root cause of it – back on June 27, when the Yankees were back in Los Angeles (that series where everyone seemed so concerned if Alex Rodriguez would shake Joe Torre’s hand). Jonathan Broxton hit Gardner with a fastball, and the ripple effect would go through the rest of the season. 
Gardner missed four games in September when it flared up again, and while a cortisone shot got him back on the field, it was still an issue. He hit .232 with a .340 slugging percentage the rest of the way (80 games), compared with .321 with a .418 slugging percentage through June 27. Gardner is expected to be ready for Spring Training. 
Also, the Yankees have announced that Alfredo Aceves had left clavicle surgery on Tuesday in New York.
Aceves – who has had absolutely no luck this year – was involved in a bicycle accident in Mexico and is expected to need three months to recover. That roughly puts his return around the beginning of Spring Training, though it seems a little less predictable than Gardner’s recovery. 

Back in the day: Brett Gardner and Phil Hughes

Back in 2005, I was dabbling with shooting photos at the Minor League games I covered. I’m no professional and the camera certainly wasn’t great, but typically we’d be able to use them online. Sometimes they’d even make it into the magazines we produced. Anyway, I was going through some old files last night and plucked out a few faces that are now very familiar. 

Here’s Brett Gardner, stepping in for the Staten Island Yankees:
And here’s Phil Hughes, pitching for the Charleston RiverDogs:
hughes 10.JPG
Melky Cabrera taking a cut for the Trenton Thunder:
And Shelley Duncan doubles to left field for the Trenton Thunder:
Shelley Duncan doubles to left.JPG

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