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A fresh perspective, and a fresh bat

Posted By Chad Jennings On May 18, 2011 @ 8:55 am In Misc | 108 Comments

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[2]There was a fresh perspective in the Yankees clubhouse last night.

In a room full of players, coaches and media who watched the team’s losing streak day after day, Chris Dickerson settled into a corner locker with no preconceived notions. He said he didn’t even realize the team had lost six in a row until he got to the airport and saw a copy of the New York Post.

Could Dickerson tell this team was desperate for a win?

“Not at all,” he said. “Except for when we finally did win and Gardner and was just going crazy, ‘We won! We won!’ That’s the first I’ve seen of a team that’s lost six in a row. Everyone was just super positive as far as coming into the locker room, everybody couldn’t have been nicer as far as greeting and congratulating. It didn’t feel like a team that was on a little bit of a skid.”

Dickerson is an interesting addition. He’s one of those outfielders who does a lot of things well but not one thing extremely well. He’s reached double-digit home runs a few times in the minors, and he’s hit a few out in the big leagues, but he’s not a true power guy. He moves well enough to steal a bag, but he’s not a raw speed guy. He draws a lot of walks, but also strikes out quite a bit.

If there’s one thing that stands out about Dickerson it’s this: He hits right-handed pitcher. He’s a career .227 hitter with almost no power against lefties, but he’s a .273/.363/.420 hitter against right-handers at the big league level. With his ability to play defense and occasionally steal a bag, that’s more than enough to play a role here.

When the Yankees traded for him, the fact Dickerson hit left-handed was a bit of a strike against him, something the team didn’t need with two lefties and a switch hitter in the regular outfield. Nick Swisher, though, has hit just .163/.297/.265 against right-handers this year, and Dickerson could help balance things out with at-bats here and there until Swisher finds his own left-handed stroke.

Don’t forget that before the trade, Dickerson wasn’t fighting for a roster spot in Brewers camp, he was fighting for an everyday job. He’s been at this level before, and he can play.

“You get that (call-up) phone call and you still get a little bit of the goose bumps,” Dickerson said. “Better sooner than later. Just definitely teaches you not to take anything for granted. Being back, it’s a great feeling, and just looking forward to the opportunity to help out.”

Associated Press photo

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