The New York Yankees are off to a good start with a 3-1 record after defeating the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 on Wednesday night. The bats got rolling early with Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and D.J. LeMahieu all going yard by the third inning. Some not so great developments, Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez continued their beginning of the season slumps, going 0-3 and 0-4 respectively.
I’m not so much worried about Gary. Big MLB hitters tend to hit cold streaks, and this appears to be one of Sanchez’s. If this was happening in August, then it may be time to panic, but I don’t think it’s defcon five for Gary, at least right now. Gardner on the other hand is a different story.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was one of the many fans advocating to bring Gardy back for 2020. He had a very productive year for the team in 2019 and is one of the few veteran locker room presences for an otherwise very young team. But it may appear that Gardy’s best years are behind him. He is 0-10 with six strikeouts thus far this season and just looks lost at the plate. What makes it all the more frustrating is the fact that Clint Frazier is just sitting in Scranton twiddling his thumbs waiting for his next opportunity to be called up.
An easy solution: Bench Gardner. Move Stanton to left field where he can start every day so the outfield can consist of Hicks, Stanton, and Judge. Put Miguel Andújar as the every day DH. Andújar is one of the hottest bats on the roster and inserting him into the lineup is a significant improvement over Gardner as of right now. Brett Gardner is a smart veteran who knows how this game works. An unhappy decision, but an obvious and necessary one nonetheless. In a shortened season, the best way to expedite success is to insert your most talented players into the lineup to produce the best results to win ball games. Right now, Brett Gardner just simply isn’t contributing.