Brett Gardner Recovering Nicely from Wrist Surgery

brett gardner

Brett Gardner had a really good year for the Yankees in 2010, but he could have had a much better year if he didn’t tank in the second half last year.

Gardner had an impressive .811 OPS in the first half last year, but a wrist injury limited him to just a .698 OPS after the All-Star game. He had surgery to repair his wrist this offseason and so far everything seems to be going well. Gardner fully expects to be ready for opening day.

Gardner spoke with Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. He confirmed that the injury did play a part of his poor second half numbers. He also said it caused him to begin his offseason workouts late because he didn’t want to suffer any setbacks. He’s the only non-pitcher or catcher in the major league camp right now, but once everyone else gets there he should be good to go.

This is good to hear. Derek Jeter is expected to be the leadoff hitter this year, but Jeter struggled last year and if he continues to struggle in 2011 Gardner could be replacing him in the leadoff spot. Either way though, Gardner is expected to play a big role for the Yankees. With two good outfielders available, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth, the Yankees never expressed real interest in either because they presumably feel comfortable with Gardner.

If Gardner can produce at least a .300 average with exceptional defense and a few stolen bases that will go a long way in helping the Yankees generate and save a lot of runs. Hopefully this injury doesn’t linger and hinder all of that.

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15 Responses to Brett Gardner Recovering Nicely from Wrist Surgery

  1. I don’t agree with Gardner batting leadoff, but it’s definitely good to see that he will be healthy this year.

  2. David K. says:

    He has to refrain from sliding head first. I hate that so many valuable hitters don’t slide feet first all the time. When you slide head first, you expose your fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders. Any kind of injury to your hands or arms can derail your season offensively as it affects your swing.

    • Mindkind says:

      Agreed.

      • Bronx Knight says:

        Head-first slide gets you to the bag faster than feet-first and also makes you harder to tag; just ask Ricky Henderson, he knew a thing or two about stealing bases. Hold onto your batting gloves to keep your hands closed and avoid hand injuries.

        Gardner's pretty damn good at stealing bases, let the kid do his job.

        • Mindkind says:

          I agree to an extend with your comment, but a kid with Gardner's speed doesn't need to slide head first. But yeah he is pretty good at stealing bases and boy do I enjoy watching him steal them!

    • Joe says:

      yeah but his injury was from getting plunked by a pitch.

  3. Mindkind says:

    I'm glad Cashman didn't trade Gardner. He is a really good player and I think he will have a really good year for us. I think he is that first half player we saw last year. Product of the farm system!

  4. Bronx Knight says:

    You know, I was all in favor of having Gardner replace Jeter at the top of the lineup. Looking at the career stats, though, I see that Jeter's career OBP of .385 is higher than Gardner's .383 last year. In 2009, Jeter's OBP was .406.

    So, on the theory that Jeter is going to rebound and have a great year, I can understand keeping him at the top of the lineup, at least for the first couple of months of this season.

    Even so, given Gardner's blazing speed (47 SB last year on 569 plate appearances), I think there is still a strong argument for putting him at the top of the lineup. Have Jeter bat 2nd, where he spent so much of his career anyway.

    • Mike S. says:

      I wouldn't mind Gardner in the #2 slot, behind Jeter and in front of Teixeira.

      When the Yanks won in 2009, a lefty hitter (Damon) batted 2nd. Gardner doesn't have Damon's power, but has more speed than Johnny.

      If Jeter gets on, Gardner can bunt him over. The first baseman has to hold Jeter on, so there is that advantage, not to mention the hold Gardner, a lefty batter, can shoot for. The lefty at the plate also is an advantage for Derek if he wants to steal. Gardner, of course, would have to concentrate a bit more on pulling the ball, so his hits go to RF (enabling Jeter to go 1st to 3rd).

      Gardner should see more fastballs hitting in front of Teix and Alex.

      I'd like to see Girardi try it in spring training. If it works, great. If not, hey that's what ST is for. To experiment a bit.

      • Mindkind says:

        I would like to see Gardner bat second as well. Good that you mentioned Damon, I thought that lineup was sick with Jeter first and Damon second the Tex and Arod. So we can have that again with new characters:

        Jeter

        Gardner

        Tex / Cano ?

        Arod

        Cano / Tex ?

        Swisher

        I would have Gardner 2, Cano 3, Arod 4, Tex 5.

        I think that's our best lineup.

      • Mike S. says:

        Gardner’s plate patience batting in front of Teix, Alex and Cano could possibly also be an aid.

        I’d then bat Swisher 6th, Jorge 7th, Granderson 8 and Martin 9.

        Hopefully Gardner can come through, hit for a nice average and get on base. With him on first, if Teix, Alex or Cano hits a gapper, Gardner most likely scores. You can’t say the same for Swisher if he bats second.

        • Mike S. says:

          Lastly, for now, Gardner at #2, with his speed and being a lefty batter, isn't as likely to GIDP as Jeter (a righty hitter at 2) would be…

  5. JoeYankeeFan says:

    I love Brett "The Jett"

    Big year for this man coming up.