LADY AT THE BAT: 2009 Yankee Preview: The Outfield

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009 Yankee Preview: The Outfield

The big outfield question mark in the Yankee outfield this year is centerfield. Will it be Melky or Gardner? Will Melky return to his form of seasons past? Will Gardner prove that he can hit? Perhaps they'll both have terrible Springs and we'll see Nick Swisher in center. Who knows? Here's a look at the entire Yankee outfield:

  • Melky Cabrera: 24, Switch/Left, above-average arm, average speed, average base runner, better left-handed batter than right-handed, poor plate discipline, coming off poor year.

  • Johnny Damon: 35, Left/Left, very good lead-off hitter, poor arm, average speed, above average base runner, age issue.

  • Brett Gardner: 23, Left/Left, above-average speed, above-average base runner, decent fielder, offense unproven.

  • Xavier Nady: 30, Right/Right, power bat, decent fielder, coming off great year.

  • Nick Swisher: 29, Switch/Left, considers 1B best position (might affect competition for OF), coming off bad year.

  • Colin Curtis: 24, Left/Left

  • Austin Jackson: 22, Right/Right, future Yankee centerfielder? Projected to start 2009 in AAA.

  • Todd Linden: 29, Switch/Right

  • John Rodriguez: 31, Left/Left

  • Hideki Matsui (DH): 35, Left/Right, not expected to play the outfield this season unless it's an emergency

So the shape of the outfield depends on the following:

Melky's bat (Will it recover?)
Gardner's bat (Will it arrive in the Big Leagues?)
Johnny Damon (Will he stay injury-free?)
Xavier Nady (Will he be traded?)
Nick Swisher (Will he be traded?)
Hideki Matsui (Will he be forced to play the outfield in an emergency?)
Austin Jackson (Will he be make his ML debut this coming season?)

I'm going to predict that Melky's bat will come around but so will Gardner's. Since Melky is out of options, he'll make the club and Gardner will be sent to AAA. If a deal can be made, Melky will be traded (breaking my heart) and Gardner will be called up. Damon will patrol left field again and Nady will be in right. Swisher will come off the bench to spell the outfielders and to give Mark Teixeira a break at first base.

Next: The Infield


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watch out for Todd Linden, I hear this guy hits bombs in ST.