What should the Yankees do with Brett Gardner?
Brett Gardner had been on an up and down roller-coaster in 2012. When we first hear of Gardner, it was during 2012 Spring Training when he told reporters that he wanted to have a good season after coming off a so-so 2011. 9 games into 2012, it was the last the Yankees had seen Gardner for a while. Gardner suffered 3 set-backs on the road back to the Yankees which prompted him to get surgery on his elbow in July. Since then, Gardner had been rehabbing to get back into playing shape and surprisingly, Gardner is willing to come back but in the role that he had during the 2009 postseason; pinch runner and defense.
Now, I’m not going to deny it. I’m a gigantic fan of Brett Gardner since he single-handedly shifts the dynamics of the team, but I’m not entirely sure that Gardner returning to the Yankees this season is the best idea. Yes, Gardner’s speed can help the Yankees in the postseason (should they make it) and for the duration of the rest of the season, but we have to look at the big picture here. Gardner can’t hit the baseball right now, even if he wanted to. Gardner had just began a hitting program so, him hitting by the end of the season or the postseason is out of the question right now.
If I’m the Yankees, I wouldn’t allow Gardner to play until next season when he’s able to hit 100%. There’s no reason to rush Gardner back in the outfield if the Yankees would have to replace him when his spot in the lineup came up. Also, it would be unfortunate for Gardner to suffer another injury in the outfield when he’s already nursing his elbow. If Gardner suffered another injury, then he could be out longer than the Yankees want.
I say, let Gardner take the rest of the year off, get him a hitting program in the off-season, get him to 100% health and then let him come back next year. Gardner would be of better use to the Yankees if he could hit, field without worrying about the elbow and steal bases.
If you were the Yankees, would you play Brett Gardner for the remainder of the season despite him not being able to hit, or would you wait next season? Sound off in the comments below.