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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

More BP today (not caught by Gardner)

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 25, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

There will be more live BP today. On the main field at 11:30:

Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Brian Bruney
Kei Igawa
Chris Britton

The Nike rep was in the clubhouse before the game. So for all the guys who have Nike deals, it was Christmas in February. Nothing like free stuff to get players excited.

I spotted Brett Gardner trying on a chest protector and shot him an incredulous look. “Position switch,” he said.

I told him that he would be the first catcher to steal 70 bases.

“Except that if I tried to catch I’d be on the disabled list in two days,” he said with a laugh.

Gardner is an interesting prospect. He’s only 5-10, 180 pounds and he was once a walk-on player at the College of Charleston. He became a third-round pick (in 2005) and last year got to Class AAA Scranton.

He can fly but he doesn’t hit for much power (.374 slugging percentage in 290 minor league games). With Melky Cabrera ahead of him, I’m not sure where he plays for the Yankees.





25 Responses to “More BP today (not caught by Gardner)”

  1. Lynn February 25th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Bruney’s resurrection starts today

  2. vinny-b February 25th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    hopefully, Gardner will get a fair chance, this year and next.

    he may be the best player for CF, until/if/when AJax is ready.

  3. murphydog February 25th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Agreed that Gardner doesn’t play ahead of Melky and he doesn’t show power numbers. But is Gardner fast enough to do the old National League “beat it on the ground and run like heck” thing? Gardner is a lefty, isn’t he, so it might work and if he gets on, he’s a steal threat. That kind of thing might appeal to Girardi if he is trying to create a different look.

  4. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex") February 25th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    that kid is fast, Justin Christian can fly too Pete.

  5. rodg12 February 25th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I’d like Gardner on the squad this year as a 5th OF, PR guy. I don’t know if they’ll have room for him though since they’ll be carrying 12 pitchers. Actually, I think I’m going to do a breakdown to see how the numbers add up:

    12 pitchers means 13 position players. You’ve got:

    I guess there is one more spot that could go to the Duncan/Ensberg so both are kept or a guy like Gardner or Lane. It’ll be interesting to see who gets that final spot. Did I miss anybody?

  6. TurnTwo February 25th, 2008 at 10:46 am

    i’m a big fan of the speed game. i dont expect Gardner to make the team out of camp, but if he can build off of his AFL line in Scranton, maybe hit .290, OBP around .370, he can wreak havoc on the bases, and hit down at the bottom of the order to reset the table for the likes of Damon and Jeter.

    I see Gardner as a comparable to Juan Pierre, but with a better arm in CF. Pierre’s ridiculously bloated contract aside, he’s proven there is a spot on a good team for a table-setter and base-stealer who is absent of true power.

    Ultimately, I see Gardner as a perfect 4th OF on this team come September, if there is room on the roster, and going forward for 2009.

  7. vinny-b February 25th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    everyone, who have personally seen Gardner play in games, have the same review: He impacts games. He needs to receive a chance, with this team.

  8. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex") February 25th, 2008 at 10:49 am

    w/ Torre Gardner wouldn’t make the team but w/ Girardi he might.

  9. vinny-b February 25th, 2008 at 10:55 am


    IMO he will benefit greater, from logging additonal time at Scranton, rather then being the #4 OF’er. If he continues, at this pace, a call-up at the break.

  10. whozat February 25th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    “he’s proven there is a spot on a good team for a table-setter and base-stealer who is absent of true power.”

    I don’t know about that. Pierre’s a bad table setter…he doesn’t get on base much.

    Basically, if Gardner can get on base at a .380 clip, he’s a starter in CF for someone. If he can’t, then he’s a 4th/5th OFer on a team with a lot of righties if he can show the ability to produce in limited playing time.

  11. vinny-b February 25th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    table-setter. We have damon.

    the #9 slot, in a circular line-up, may be a perfect fit for his skill set. And unlike Juan Pierre, Gardner is able to steal bases at a +++ percentage.

  12. Peter Abraham February 25th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Brandon: who was manager when Jeter, Rivera, Wang, Cano, Joba, Hughes, Kennedy and Melky were called up?

    The idea that Torre was against young players is ridiculous. You cannot develop players in the majors with a team like the Yankees. Either guys can help the team win right now or they’re useless to a manger, Girardi included.

  13. OldYanksFan February 25th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Gardner may get a cup of coffee and steal some bases, but a sub .750 OPS guy doesn’t make the Yankees OF. Heck, there’s every talk of whether Melky has a place with this team. Either he hits .300 with and OBP of .375+ or he’s trade bait. It’s nice to have a speedster, but not a singles hitter without a very good OBP.

  14. TurnTwo February 25th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    whozat, agreed on that assessment. and i also agree that he should play everyday in Scranton vs the idea he should make the MLB roster as a 4th OF.

    just an aside: and i understand in order to play on a MLB roster, its preferred that you have power in your bat.

    but i just dont understand why someone who hasnt developed power is just thrown aside.

    noone is saying he’s going to become a great player… but if he can prove he can hit close to .300, and get on base at a better than .360-.370 clip, with all the power and run production in this current lineup, why cant a Gardner-type player flourish on this team?

  15. vinny-b February 25th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Gardner may get a cup of coffee and steal some bases, but a sub .750 OPS guy doesn’t make the Yankees OF. Heck, there’s every talk of whether Melky has a place with this team. Either he hits .300 with and OBP of .375+ or he’s trade bait. It’s nice to have a speedster, but not a singles hitter without a very good OBP”

    bullsh*t. He is a excellent CF’er. His speed is an 80, on a scale of 80. By all accounts, he is a very disciplined hitter, who sees alot of pitches. He takes ++ walks. Even he contiunes to do the above at the MLB level, and only hits .280, he has a place on this team. At least, until AJax.

  16. Chris Barrows February 25th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I did a spread on the guy last year. He’s a great player. Vinny B is right on about him. He’s got a few things he still needs to work on, such as improving some of his minor parts of the game(bunting for example), but those minor parts are huge for a guy his size and style.

    He isn’t going to hit 25 home runs a year, but he’s going to help produce. I for one would like to see him get a shot as the 5th outfielder and I think he’d be a key contributer, if not to start the season, by season end. Just look at his numbers in the Arizona League. He can produce.

  17. Chris Barrows February 25th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I should have mentioned, he’s traditionally alright in the first half of his time at a new level, and then picks up the pace the second half. That’s my only concern for him, and what might cause him some concern when he hits the Majors and doesn’t produce.

    He’s gotta produce first shot, which is why ultimately, I do believe he’ll start in CF in Scranton next year, and get up, at worst, at the end of the season as a utility outfielder.

    He’s got some great players coming up behind him, so it’s now or never for Gardner, if he wants to be on the Yankees big league roster. He’s confident in himself, and to me that speaks volume.

  18. Christopher February 25th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Gardner should be ahead of Melky on the depth chart. He is such a dynamic, game-changing player. Even if he doesn’t hit for power, he can hit line drives to the gaps, and he can steal 60+ bases over the course of a season. He will also catch balls in CF that no other center fielder in the league will get to.

    Brandon is absolutely right: Gardner would never have gotten a chance under Torre, but Girardi might be intrigued by the speed and high BA. As long as we have a weak hitting CF batting 9th, it may as well be the guy that can steal and play better defense.

  19. Mike S. February 25th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    When you see Gardner, think Jayson Tyner. Same type of player.

    Rodg12: It would then come down to backup OF (Lane/Gardner) or another backup INF (Woodward/Gonzalez/Green).

    FYI: Jeter and Rivera had their debuts in 1995, when Buck was the manager. As Casey said, “you can look it up.”

  20. bigjf February 25th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Gardner’s future is probably a 4th outfielder/pinch runner at best, if not career minor leaguer.

  21. EYT February 25th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    cmon pete, its well known that torre did not want to play cano: see tony womack, melky: see aaron guile/terrence howard, wang: see brown and weaver, and was forced to start hughes and keenedy because his staff was depleted, also joba was a try out in the bullpen and if hadnt been absoultely awesome he very well could have gone the way of chase wright who was vindictively allowed to have 4 hrs sent off him in primtime, finally he had no choice with jeter and rivera as he wasnt st joe then but just a subpar manager that had a below 500 record.

  22. Phil - Saved! February 25th, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    The difference between Gardner and Tyner is that Gardner actually gets on base (0.381 OBP in the minors). Comparing him to Tyner, with his career .314 OBP, is just wrong. If a guy can get on base at that type of clip with a 84% success rate stealing bases and plus defense in center, you can sacrifice the power. I hope this guy gets a shot with the Yankees, cause he’s gonna be a damn good player in the bigs.

  23. Mike S. February 25th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Phil, you actualy think the .381 OBP in the minors stays at .381 in the majors? You don’t think it will actually drop when he goes up to the highest level?

    He may be better than Tyner is. I’m going with what I’ve seen at Trenton and Scranton. He may turn out to be decent—but not by .381/.314.

    Come on.

  24. AeroFANatic February 25th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I think the 13 position players will shake out like this :


    I dont think Ensberg makes this team unless he has a lights out spring. We have Betemit and Duncan as 1st base backups, and both Duncan (RF) and Betemit (SS,2B,3b) can play other infield positions.

    I guess it depends on where Girardi wants to take the club. Being an NL style manager, I think he will want a fast guy and a 5th OF. That leads me to Gardner if he shows in spring he can hang.

  25. Christopher February 25th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    has girardi confirmed he’s going with a 12 man bullpen? it seems to me that with the strict innings limits being placed on hughes, kennedy and joba, girardi might opt for extra depth in the bullpen. there is certainly plenty of talent to select from with horne and mccutchen being available in addition to the guys that were on the ML roster last year. i want to see gardner on the team as much as anyone, but bullpen depth is very important for us with all the young starters.

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