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Yankees find their platoon bat in Marcus Thames

Feb 8, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

For much of the offseason the assumption has been that the Yankees would sign a right-handed bat to platoon with Brett Gardner or Randy Winn in left field, and now’s Jon Heyman reports that they’ve found their man in Marcus Thames.
Thames actually came up through the Yankees’ farm system after being a 30th-round pick in 1996, but New York traded him to Texas for Ruben Sierra in mid-2003 and then Detroit signed him off the scrap heap a short time later.
He’s spent the past six seasons as a part-time player for the Tigers, getting around 350 plate appearances per year against primarily left-handed pitching. Thames has elite raw power, averaging 33 homers per 500 at-bats, but has hit just .234 with an ugly .291 on-base percentage against right-handers during his career.
However, the Yankees have plenty of left-handed bats to plug into the lineup against righties and will simply need Thames to knock around left-handed pitching, which he’s done to the tune of .256/.329/.516. Right now it looks like Winn and Gardner will compete for the left field job, with the winner forming a platoon with the 32-year-old Thames and the loser serving as fourth outfielder.

  1. Moses Green - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    No one will ever confuse him with Ryan Howard, but Randy Winn has significantly more power than Gardner. I propose therefore, the first ever tripartite platoon, with Winn in LF against RHP at home, where the merry little breezes will put the pop back in Winn’s popgun, Gardner in LF vs RHP’s on the road, and Thames against LHP’s wherever and whenever.

  2. Nasty Boy - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    I like the move,this guy has power, and hits lefty , and righty about the same. Low cost ins.Sorry Johnny the Yankees have totally moved on.

  3. markfd - Feb 9, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Welcome home Marcus!!!

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