Andruw Jones filled the role the Yankees asked him to fill very nicely last year. Jones was the power righty bat of the bench the Yankees needed, and he mashed left handed pitching all year. Jones’s splits against lefties were .286/.384/.540/.923. That .923 OPS is absolutely outstanding. Also, Jones finished the year with a solid 13 HRs of the bench for the Yankees. He did an adequate job in the outfield, nothing like his gold glove years in Atlanta, but he did not kill the Yankees out there. Marcus Thames was used in the same role Jones was two years ago and he was unplayable in the outfield. Jones did a good job of spelling Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, while also getting some DH AB’s.
Jones was egregious against right handed pitching, as he was pretty much unusable against them. Jones’s splits against righties were .172/.303/.406./.709. However, for what it’s worth, he did have 5 of his 13 homeruns against righties. At the age of 34 health could be an issue for Jones. He did play last year with a knee injury, but it did not seem to affect him very much. He was slow on the base paths, but he was obviously slow to begin with.
Fit for the Yankees?
I would advocate that the Yankees resign Andruw Jones to fill the same role next year. Part of the reason is Brett Gardner did not show enough against lefties last year. Like Jones against righties, Gardner against lefties was also egregious. Gardner’s splits against lefties were .233/.344/.272/.616. He also had a grand total of 0 HR’s and 6 RBI’s against lefties. I know Gardner is no power guy, but 6 RBI’s on the year against lefties is brutal. A lineup consisting of Jones and Jesus Montero against lefties is scary for opposing pitchers. A lineup of Jeter, Granderson, Tex, A-Rod, Cano, Montero, Swisher, Jones, and Martin against lefties is awfully imposing. Until Gardner proves he can hit lefties better a player like Jones is a necessity. Gardner is a nice player for the Yankees and had a great postseason, but if his and Jones’ stats against lefties do not change he should not see a lot of action against them.