I read this yesterday and, to be honest, it sort of made me laugh.
Here’s manager Joe Girardi discussing Marcus Thames, via George King of the NY Post:
“He has had good at-bats. I don’t get caught up in the numbers. It’s a small sample.”
And yet, this spring, Girardi has basically said that Brett Gardner will have to prove his bat, and that the fifth starter will be decided upon a handful of exhibition games (“a small sample”). It is all laughable, really. For the most part, Girardi knows what he wants to do. He likes Brett Gardner and wants him as a starting outfielder, but he’ll push him to play hard this spring just to make it clear that he has to fight for his spot given his weak bat. He also likes Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes as his fifth starter and is simply manufacturing a “competition” in order to appear evenhanded in his decision and to encourage those involved to work hard for an incentive that is not really obtainable.
This spring narrative is just noise. Girardi has a plan and it will be implemented, regardless of the spring stats.
Photo by the AP