The Yankees have pretty much committed to a committee approach in left field. Brett Gardner will get the start against most righties while Marcus Thames will start against lefties.

Do I agree with this approach? No.

Is it working???? You’ll have to read more…

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Collectively, Brett Thames is hitting .375 (15 for 40) this season. While he is yet to hit a home run, he has successfully stolen seven bases in eight attempts. Brett Thames also excels at getting on-base. He has successfully reached base in 21 of 46 plate appearances (.456 OBP). Brett Thames ranks first in on the Yankees in terms of batting average and second in on-base percentage. It’s too early in the season to getting into UZR and OPS+ rankings, but this platoon has been working thus far. However, is this the most ideal scenario moving forward?

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The speedy lefty has taken 30 of Brett Thames’ 40 at-bats this season and has recorded all of the stolen bases. Gardner’s 88% success rate is right in-line with his career stolen base average. We cannot expect him to keep up his .429 on-base percentage (he’s not Nick Johnson and had a .345 OBP last season), but how many bases could Gardner take if he plays in 120+ games? 50? 60? We already know that he plays great defense, so that’s just a plus. Overall, he brings a dynamic speed element to the club, something that the Yankees lack.

Gardner is definitely one of the more exciting players to watch on the Yankees. However, expect the Yankees to continue their platoon approach in left field. With the Yankees expected to face two lefties in Oakland and one in Anaheim, the platoon will be in full force. It will be interesting to see what the team will do once one of the two begins to slump.

For those who were clamoring for Johnny Damon this off-season, he has posted a .222 batting average, 0 HRs, 5 RBIs so far for Detroit. Maybe Yankee Stadium inflates numbers after all…

As fans, we will scream at the television when Gardner’s infield choppers are cleanly fielded and he is thrown out. We will wonder why Gardner is not in left field when Marcus Thames makes an ill-advised attempt at a diving catch. We will blame Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and the more accessible, Michael Kay for not breaking the bank for Matt Holliday. As long as Mariano Rivera is hoisting the trophy in November, everything will be okay.

Until then….

What Would You Do With Left Field?

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