Remember those days when Brett Gardner was the driving force behind the Yankees offense?
It’s a far cry from today, where Gardner is struggling mightily at the plate. Instead of getting hits, he’s getting out and the Yankees, the fans and probably Gardner have no idea why.
While it’s easy to critique Gardner’s recent performance in particular, it’s more of a concern that something is wrong with Gardner.
With his wrist injury from the 2015 Wild Card game into the off-season, Gardner never fully disclosed the severity of his injury until it began affecting his performance. What’s to say that the same thing isn’t happening now?
As a player, Gardner is a gritty speedster who wants to be out there playing that game. But it’s time for him to think whether or not his current performance is helping or hindering his team.
It’s not just Brett. The entire team is in a funk. But the Yanks rely on Brett Gardner to get on base and wreak havoc and he just isn’t doing that.
Gardner started the season with a .254 average in April but in May, he was 16 for 87…equaling out to a .184 average (Yankees.com). His career at the plate has always rode in waves, so what’s not to say that it could happen again?
The negativity surrounding Brett Gardner’s offensive performance seems to be the only thing that pops up on my newsfeed. Yes, we expect more out of Gardner. But as fans, we should also be rooting for him to find his stroke again, not turning against him.
One thing I know about Gardner is he plays the game hard and will continue to do so, slump or no slump. His slump is massive…according to Ryan Hatch in his piece for NJ.com, Gardner is batting .214 dating back to July 1, 2015 in 127 games (NJ.com). He is struggling more than we know.
But before we turn to the blame game, we have to realize things are bad all around. The Yankees aren’t hitting at all. However, the Yankees need Gardner to start hitting and producing if they want to find themselves in the playoff hunt.
Gardner is one who would play through injury and while everyone is concerned about his average, I’m more concerned about him potentially injuring something further and affecting the rest of his career.
Maybe I’m just hoping for the best and am a huge fan of Brett Gardner, but he reminds me of Derek Jeter; works hard, plays hard and is dedicated to his team.
For people arguing that he should have been traded when he had higher value…his value will increase again. This guy never gives up. In this roller coaster ride of the season, Gardner has proven before that he can ride the ride all the way up to the top.
If the past is any indication, we haven’t seen the last of Brett Gardner. That is, if he is fully healthy. If he’s hiding an injury, Yankee fans may be disappointed for a while longer.
But we can’t give up on Gardner. He has proven us wrong so many times and he might just do it again.