Yankees manager Joe Girardi has often benched left fielder Brett Gardner in favor of Andruw Jones against left handed batters last year and so far this season too. But as Gardner showed on Tuesday when he went 2-for-3 off a lefty, he’s not exacly overmatched by them.
Girardi has taken note of this and said that like last night, he won’t be benching Gardner against all lefties.
“I do value (Gardner), and I told him, ‘You’re not going to sit against all lefties,’” Girardi told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “I think it’s important early on that you get Andruw going and he gets his at-bats against left-handers, and I want to get Nuney going as well. Sometimes I’m going to DH Alex or Jeet. Sometimes I might DH Jonesy, depending on if I like certain left-handers against the lefty. It’s more I’m looking at stats and the feeling about the guy that day.”
In his career, Gardner does only slightly worse against lefties than he does against righties. Against righties he has a career .354 OBP and a .736 OPS. Against southpaws his OBP stays essentially the same at .353, but he loses some pop as his OPS drops to .673.