Brett Gardner’s return to the lineup this year has been a much needed support for the ailing Yankees, who have a number of superstar players on the bench. Losing Nick Swisher in the offseason left an opening in the outfield for Gardner, and he has taken full advantage of it, starting in all 32 games of the season.
Gardner is batting a .270 on the season, which can seem a little sub-par to some people, but with an OBP of .343 (5th on the team), Gardner’s proving to be an essential and, at this point of the season, vital part of the roster. He also leads the team in steals with five, ahead of Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells.
Gardner’s true skill set has been on display in the last seven games, leading the team in multiple categories, including batting average (.353) and hits (six). He’s also shown his patience in the batter’s box, leading the team in number of pitches seen during his at-bats with 79.
If Gardner can stay healthy throughout the year, he can be a very useful tool on the base paths as well as in the batter’s box in a year that didn’t look to promising for the Yankees to begin with.