Thursday, April 19, 2012
The left fielder was scratched before Wednesday night’s game because of a sore right elbow and an MRI exam showed a bruise and a slight strain. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Yankees called up right-hander Cody Eppley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Gardner’s place. Eppley was claimed from Texas at the end of spring training.
Sure, when you lose your starting LF, call up a right-handed relief specialist.
Gardner’s absence deprives the Yankeess of some speed and they will be forced to use Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez more in left.
“His defense is the best part of this team,” said Jones, who had some adventures there last night.
Yes it is Andruw. Yes it is.
Alright, enough snark. What is the impact of this?
Offense is not the issue. In fact, it’s possible a Jones/Ibanez platoon would be more productive at the plate than Gardner, although less so on the bases. Here are their respective CAIRO projections over 100 PA.
|player||pa||avg||obp||slg||woba||br||woba vs L||woba vs R|
This includes stolen bases, but not other base running. The impact of that over 25-30 games is probably on the order of about 1-2 runs.
Defense is the real issue here. Here are how the three players’ average defensive projections compare.
My eyes tell me Andruw Jones is not an average LF, but my eyes are probably comparing him to Brett Gardner. My eyes do tell me Ibanez is a horrific defender. You can use the rs/9 times number of games you think Gardner will miss to get a rough idea of the defensive impact. Over 20 games, Gardner would project to save about 3 runs above an average defender. Jones would project to be about 0.7 runs above an average defender and Ibanez would be about a run worse. So you’re probably looking at a defensive hit in the area of three runs.
So figure something like 0 runs difference on offense minus 1-2 runs on the bases - 3 runs on defense = -4 to -5 runs. You can fiddle around with platooning and defensive substituting and I haven’t included Nun-E in here since I have no idea how to project him defensively but it shouldn’t change the overall bottom line all that much.
Losing Gardner is not great news, but it’s not catastrophic, provided he can return within a month. With wrist injuries that’s never a sure thing though.
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