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No More Melk Deliveries (Clever!)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I guess after a year of seeing more of THIS from Melky:

than THIS:
Girardi has determined that enough is enough.

After a solid 2006 and serviceable 2007 season, Melky really fell apart in 2008. In 129 games he amassed an average of just .249, his OBP was a frightening .301, and he only managed to knock in 37 runs (although the rest of the idiots hitting ahead of him didn't help much, to be fair) and was weaker in the field too - just 7 assists last year compared to 16 in 2007. This spring Girardi made it clear that the centerfield job was not guaranteed to Melky, and despite a decent showing during the ST games (.340 [18-for-53], with one home run, nine RBI and two stolen bases) it was announced on Sunday that the starting gig is going to Brett Gardner instead.

For his part, Gardner certainly did his best to earn the spot: in 22 games he hit .385 (20-for-52) with three home runs, six RBI and five stolen bases. Girardi explained the decision thusly:
"Both of them played great [in Spring Training]. Melky had a tough year last year, but he came into camp and was ready to go and played very well. Gardy finished up strong and had a great camp. We're just going to go with Gardy."
Melky won't be totally usurped, however, as he'll be on the bench ready to pinch hit or give Gardner a day off. And not all hope is lost for the kid - we tend to forget how young he is since he's been around for so long already, but he is just 24 and could certainly improve his game.

Unless "Gardy" (that's the best you could do in the nickname department, Joe?) fails to impress in the first month or so, I have a feeling Melky won't be wearing pinstripes for long. He's out of options on his contract, meaning the Yanks can't send him to the minors to hone his skills and free up a roster spot, and the Yanks have plenty of competent outfielders to serve as reserves. Thanks to his strong spring performance, I am sure that at least one team would be happy to have him on their roster (Padres?), and if the Yanks can get a decent reliever in return I guarantee Melky will be on the first plane outta the Bronx.

Let's hope Gardner likes dancing with Cano...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 31, 2009  
  • At 8:54 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    I was geeked to hear that announcement. I have been rooting for him all winter long. He brings that pesky speed needed into the line up. Look for this kid surprise EVERYONE. That speed will also equate into great range in CF. His arm must be alright, he has an OF assist or two this spring.

    Since Damon, Matsui and Nady are all gone after this season I would rather see one of them traded and keep Melky. He is worthy of a bench role for sure. Better D than Damon and Matsui in a landslide. Plus you can't knock the OF assists drop too much. A guy pegs 16 one year, runners are less apt to try stretching extra bases out the next year.

  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Bronx Baseball Daily said…

    I just hope that Melky still gets a decent amount of time in center so that the pair keep up the friendly competition that seems to be benefiting both.

  • At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    melky has nothing to offer offensively other than a batting avg. hell never hit for power or run like gardner....gardner deserves a chance, he has way more upside....the last thing the yankees need is more relievers, just the fact that melancon and robertson are in AAA shows how much depth they have in that area....if melky is to be moved it should be for a young position prospect....melky just never developed any kind of offensive game, if a guy like him doesnt hit .300 or higher hes completely worthless, save as a defensive replacement and 4th or 5th outfielder.

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