23 Jun 2009
So here we are almost at the All-Star Break and we have two guys who make up an imperfect fit in center.
Melky Cabrera has a great arm, is prone to long slumps and doesn’t get on base enough.
Brett Gardner can cover tons of ground, run like the wind, but he has no power.
If there was someway to platoon the two of them it would be great, but neither guy has proven the ability to hit lefties over their career.
So, let’s play to the two guys’ strengths. Gardner can run and Melky has some pop, so how about using Garnder in center when the Yankees are on the road and Melky in center when they are at home?
Consider Melky’s home/away splits: At home Melky is hitting .284/.346/.491 on the road he is .278/.329/.354. Would it be fair to say he is enjoying the bandbox that is the new place?
Consider Gardner’s home/away splits: .296/.397/.407 at home and on the road he is .275/.330/.400
So, Brett outhits Melky away from the Bronx and Melky outhits Brett in the Bronx. Boil it down to OPS and it becomes even clearer Melky (.837 at home/.683 on the road) vs. Gardner (.804 home/.730 road)
So, why not take advantage of that difference and make it formal? Or, let Gardner play center all the time? (Don’t see that happening)