Yankees outfield situation

This is just a quick post, so if it seems  rushed, you know why.

Heading into the season, the Yankees have six outfielders on their extended roster. Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, Randy Winn, Jamie Hoffmann, and Marcus Thames. Ideally, the Yankees only need 4-5 outfielders, so who should get playing time and who should get the boot?

For starters, let me tell you my projected outfield (haha, for starters). Swisher in RF, Gardner in CF, and Granderson in LF. Obviously, Swishawk is a lock in right. Also, it should come as a no-brainer Granderson is starting, but I have him in left.  Gardner is a better fielder. Granderson is projected to have a 0.0 UZR/150 in 2010 and his three year UZR is “just” 1.2. Meanwhile, Gardner has put up spectacular 27.6 UZR/150 in 789 career CF innings and his projected 2010 UZR/150 is 2.8. Sure there’s just a 2-3 run difference between the two, but I fully believe Gardner will post a better rating than 2.8, while Grandy will stay close to his three year average.

Now comes the tricky part- choosing the bench. With Granderson and Gardner both starting, that’s two black holes against lefties. So ideally, the Yankees need a rerserve OF who can hit lefties to platoon with Gardner or pinch-hit for him and Granderson. Well, in 2009 Winn had a -9 wRC+ against lefties in 125 PA- a SSS. For his career he has fared a little bit better, posting a 105 wRC+.

The next option would be Marcus Thames. Against lefties in 2009, Thames had a 110 wRC+ against lefties. For his career in 691 PA against lefties, he has a 122 wRC+ with a .360 wOBA. 691 PA is still a SSS, but it’s evident Thames is just a flat out better hitter than Winn against lefties, with more power. Power that could be beneficial in NYS if the HR rates stay the same.

Give me Thames as the 4th outfielder on the bench, to platoon with Gardner against lefties and/or pinch-hit.

That leaves two players for one spot- Randy Winn and Jamie Hoffman. Winn is being paid $2mil by New York in 2010. Hoffmann has to stay on the Yanks roster or he’ll be returned to LA. Hoffmann offers more potential. He is younger, can hold his own ground offensively, and is supposed to be a good fielder. Meanwhile, Winn is getting older and coming off a bad offensive season.

If given the choice, Hoffman should be given the spot over Winn. In reality, New York won’t want to waste $2mil on Winn and then cut him or not play him. So it may be money that makes the final decision.

To recap:

RF- Nick Swisher; CF- Brett Gardner; LF- Curtis Granderson

4th OF- Marcus Thames

5th OF- Jamie Hoffmann

See ya later- Randy Winn

But in reality it will be Winn who earns a spot over Hoffmann.

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One Comment on “Yankees outfield situation”

  1. Owner Says:

    Haha you guys are stuck with Randy Winn.

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