The Yankees signed outfielder Marcus Thames this season to do one job, hit lefties, and so far all he has done is destroy lefties. Try these numbers on for size: 8 G, 16 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, .625 AVG, .684 OBP, 1.000 SLG, 1.684 OPS.
Now so far Thames’ outfield defense has been pretty atrocious, but so far night’s like last night, 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, make it hard to stay mad at him. Both Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson are far superior to him defensively and it is always painful to watch Thames flail at balls in the outfield that either one of the speedsters could have gotten to, but consider these numbers against lefties:
Granderson vs. lefties: 28 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, .179 AVG, .207 OBP, .250 SLG, .457 OPS.
Gardner vs. lefties: 16 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, .313 AVG, .313 OBP, .375 SLG, .688 OPS.
So even though Thames’ defense is tough to look at, so are the numbers the regular outfielders, with the exception of Nick Swisher, put up against southpaws.
One thought though, usually manager Joe Girardi has been going with Thames in left field and sitting Gardner against lefties. What he might consider doing is starting both Randy Winn and Thames against the lefties. Or possibly even consider pulling Rocco Baldelli out of the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office if Winn can’t do the job.