• Time To Bench Melky?

    Posted by on June 28th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    Brett Gardner made Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet for June 27th. Here’s what they had to say about him:

    One of the IL’s steadiest performers all season, Gardner in the past month has become one of its very best. He’s batting .326/.446/.457 through 92 June at-bats, with 11 steals in 12 attempts, and on the season he now leads the league in on-base percentage (.417), stolen bases (30 in 38 tries), walks (57) and triples (10), while ranking third in runs scored (58). The quintessential leadoff man, Gardner has reached base in 71 of the 77 games in which he’s played this season.

    Since May 1st of this season, Melky Cabrera has put together the following BA/OBP/SLG line: .231/.294/.301 (in 206 PA).

    Would it be a crime – especially with Matsui out – to send down Justin Christian, call up Gardner to play CF, and then bench Cabrera?

    Melky could still play the role of fourth outfielder – and be an excellent defensive sub on the corners late in a game (as he throws better than Damon in left and has more range than Abreu in right).

    What are the Yankees afraid of here? That Gardner might not hit? Well, as long as his OBA is above .300, Brett would be more useful – with the bat – than Melky is now.

    Comments on Time To Bench Melky?

    1. hallofamer2000
      June 28th, 2008 | 2:59 pm

      I want Gardner in center, but I think the best move would be to give Melky 4 at-bats a day in AAA, rather than 4 a week in the majors.

    2. yankees76
      June 28th, 2008 | 3:06 pm

      I think the Yankees called up Christian because he’s older than Gardner, and they want to see what they’ve got, because there’s a sense that once Gardner is called up, in whatever capacity (backup or starter), he’s probably going to stick. If Melky’s going to hit .280 with 20 HRs, that’s terrific. If he’s going to hit .300 with 10 HRs, that’s terrific.

      If he’s going to hit .250 with 10 HRs, that’s not going to keep him around, not at a premium position.

    3. baileywalk
      June 28th, 2008 | 3:11 pm

      With Matsui DL’d, the Yankees have no excuses left not to call up Brett Gardner. He’s earned the promotion. You also don’t need to bench Melky in this scenario because Gardner has more range than Damon at this point and with Damon likely the fall apart anyway, he’s a perfect DH at the moment.

    4. baileywalk
      June 28th, 2008 | 3:23 pm

      By the way, Gardner has been playing left in AAA, so I think the move is coming soon.

    5. AndrewYF
      June 28th, 2008 | 4:16 pm

      B-b-b-ut Gardner is a – a – a PROSPECT! How can he succeed? You are confusing me, Steve. You think the Yankees should call up a…prospect to take over for an underperforming major league veteran? But I thought relying on your farm system was futile?

    6. yankees76
      June 28th, 2008 | 4:31 pm

      I think the idea, Andrew, is to call up Gardner and bench or demote Melky. Then showcase Gardner for a few games before trading him for Kenny Lofton.

    7. AndrewYF
      June 28th, 2008 | 4:44 pm

      One thing is clear, Cashman made a grave error by not signing Gary Matthews Jr or Torii Hunter.

    8. June 28th, 2008 | 5:00 pm

      Funny yankees76 and AndrewYF.

      But, one decent prospect does not mean the farm system is robust with players who are going to carry the team in the near future.

    9. jmeisner
      June 28th, 2008 | 7:29 pm

      Agreed, Steve. I’m kind of done with Melky as our starting center fielder. This is his third year in the league and he’s done nothing but decline, which is probably a sign that pitchers are adjusting to him and that he has no ability to adjust back to them. His .250/.320/.360 line this season is a joke. Gardner has proven that he can soundly beat minor league pitching — give him a shot at the majors.

    10. Don
      June 29th, 2008 | 2:59 am

      Gardner has improved his OBP as he has climbed the minor league ladder. He is a player on the rise, who could be much better than most want to admit. He won’t hit a lot of HR’s, but he could be something special with his great speed and hard work.

    11. June 30th, 2008 | 10:31 am

      [...] Abraham is reporting that Gardner has been called up to the big team. I recommended this move two days [...]

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