Sunday, July 6, 2008

Brett Gardner

I got to say, one of my favorite new Yankees is Brett Gardner. Not only because of his walk-off hit against Paps, but I love every one of his at-bats. Even when the Yanks get healthy and the entire team is back, it would be a mistake to send him back to Scranton. The Yankees need someone like Gardner for pinch running and to fill in every now and then.

Chris, anything you can tell us about Gardner? What did you see from him in Scranton?

Ironically, I was on my way to write up something, and Travis(err, Clarkie I mean) beat me to it. Let me first make it clear, it's said you shouldn't have too many favorites when you're in journalism. Brett Gardner makes that hard.

Gardner is not just a nice guy, he's a realist. He knows how it is, he understands the business of baseball, and was ready to accept what was offered to him. He was never sure if he was going to have a shot in New York, but he knew he'd have a shot somewhere.

Right now, I'm glad he did get his shot, he's deserved it for sometime. Everything you've heard from announcers on the YES Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, or wherever you get your sports news, it's most likely true. But just in case you haven't heard a scouting report on Gardner, here's one for you.

Brett Gardner is an 80/80 when it comes to speed. I think that was evident from his first at bat. He grounded out to first base, yet nearly had a single because of his speed. That's a testament to the type of player Gardner is.

At the plate, he isn't going to wow you with power, but he's smart. He knows what his weapon is, and he'll utilize it. He's improved his bunting ability greatly since last year, much to the advice of a few major leaguers who made their way to Scranton at some point throughout last year. He's a fighter at the plate, if that isn't clear to you already, I'm telling you he's a fighter. He won't give up, and he'll get on base.

While he's got a great eye, he's been trying to become more aggressive over the past year and a half. It's worked. He still needs to cut down on his strikeouts, but his OBP is going to be strong for you. He generally takes about 35-50 at bats to adjust to the new level of pitching his facing, and he's slowly approaching that number.

I think the at bat tonight against Paps shows he just might be turning over that comfort level sooner than he usually does, but I'm not sold just yet. One way or another, he's going to get on base.

One thing, he's not a guy who the Yankees want to sit on a bench too much. If he's on the Major League roster, he's going to play. No doubt about that. If he has a day off at some point, he's likely to pinch hit or pinch run. He shouldn't have more than a day off in a row in the Bronx, however, as Cashman sees too much value in him.

My only fear, and it's natural as we know the Yankees, is Gardner as trade bait. If the Yankees trade Gardner, it's a huge mistake. I think him and Cabrera are a hot topic right now due to the fact that Gardner has been tagged by some to replace him. Should he? That's up for debate as Cabrera is younger and still has room to grow. He's got a rocket, but in the long run, is he just a fourth outfielder? You be the judge.


Travis Miller said...

let's get one thing straight. I do not like Brett Gardner, and I did not write the first part of that blog, Clarkie did! Gardner's nickname in three months will be "Mr. July"

for a reason.

Chris Barrows said...

My mistake, haha, all the same, it's your right to have an opinion.

God Bless America, where Travis and I can bash the other's favorite team(if they count as one).

ERnie said...

Travis writing something positive about the Yankees?? Dude, Travis...

Travis Miller said...

I didn't write anything! Damnit!
If I blogged yesterday, it would have been about the epic showdown between Federer and Nadal.

I don't like either of them, but that match at least meant something in the first week of July. Not to mention it was the most exciting tennis match ever played. Equal, if not better than Tiger's U.S. Open win.

ERnie said...

You had that to choose from and the All-Star team yet you chose to blog about the Yankees in a positive light? What's the deal Travi?

Travis Miller said...

ERNIE YOU AREN'T UNDERSTANDING! Barrows thought it was me that wrote the first part but it was actually Clarkie! Barrows made a mistake.

I'll blog about the All-Star teams tomorrow!

and the fight to lose the NL West.

ERnie said...

Excuses excuses.

Chris Barrows said...

I'd go ahead and bold the the fact that I did make a mistake, but Travis annoyed that he said something positive about the Yankees is a concept that's enjoyable.

Keep thinking I didn't make a mistake Ernie, lol