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Yankees bench Brett Gardner for Marcus Thames against Jon Lester

Apr 6, 2010, 4:48 PM EDT

Brett Gardner is the Yankees’ starting left fielder, but after playing the opener against right-hander Josh Beckett he’s on the bench tonight against left-hander Jon Lester.
Marcus Thames takes Gardner’s place, which makes a lot of sense if the Yankees are willing to live with the massive defensive downgrade in left field. Thames has a bad glove, swings at everything, strikes out a lot, and has a .243 career batting average, but the one thing he can do really well is hit for power against left-handed pitching.
Thames is a career .256/.329/.516 hitter versus lefties, with 40 homers and 35 doubles in 620 at-bats. He’s probably 150-200 points of OPS better than Gardner against southpaws, which along with moving Curtis Granderson to the bottom of the order gives the Yankees a nice little boost for matchups with tough lefties like Lester.

  1. Brecus Gardames - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Whoa, has this ever been done before? Staring a different handed player against a different handed pitcher to give them a better chance at hitting. They should call this something if it starts to catch on.
    Sorry, had to do it.. Not sure why this is news.

  2. Yankees Gameday - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Garder is a difference maker on this team and if he can’t hit left handers then he needs to work his ass off to get that average up if he is going to be an every day player.

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