On the new ESPN-NY website, a (unattributed) writer speculates that Girardi may opt to sit Yankee Centerfielder against Boston’s tough Lefty Jon Lester. He writes:
Granted, it was before Curtis Granderson got off to a rollicking good start as the new Yankees centerfielder Sunday night, but manager Joe Girardi raised the possibility that with Jon Lester starting for Boston Tuesday night, Marcus Thames — the last position player to make the 25-man roster — might get a start in the outfield.
“We have not made a lineup for Tuesday, but that was one of the reasons we went and got him, because of his success off of lefthanders,” Girardi said. “So you can start him against lefties or pinch-hit him. And he’s a guy that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
The numbers don’t quite bear out Girardi’s claim — Thames’ average vs. lefties in eight big-league seasons is a so-so .256, as opposed to just .234 vs. righties, and he has homered at roughly the same rate — about once in every 15 at-bats.
I’m not buying it, and I’ll bet the context of the question was vague and/or a hypothetical. The Yanks will want to get a good long look at Granderson for themselves to see what kind of ABs he’s having, see if they can pinpoint for themselves what is the root of his problem with Lefties. Curtis will have to play his way out of the lineup before they will sit him down. After getting off to a great start on Sunday night, I’ll be surprised if they sit him down so soon. Girardi likes to use his bench, likes to keep everyone involved, and Jon Lester is anything but a typical Lefthander. But it’s the 2nd game of the season, they’re still figuring out what goes where at this point.
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