One of the small pieces the Yankees need going into the 2011 season is a competent fourth outfielder. Matt Diaz was scooped up by the Pirates and we’ve heard nothing on the Scott Hairston front. Both of those would’ve/would be good options. The Yankees have also apparently inquired on Jerry Hairston, Jr. He can play outfield–and infield–but his bat isn’t good enough to be the fourth outfielder.
Another option we’ve heard little about this Hot Stove Season is Fred Lewis. Lewis was traded to the Blue Jays on April 15 of this year from the San Francisco Giants. The Jays, in turn, non-tendered Lewis on December 2nd.
For his career, Lewis has been just about average. His OPS+ sits at 102 and his wRC+ sits at 108. He has a career line of .272/.348/.418, good for a .766 OPS and a .339 wOBA. It doesn’t really get more average than that.
His IsoP of .146 is also quite average. It’s a little low considering his high career strikeout rate of 25.5%, but he augments those swings and misses with a good deal of walks–9.42%.
Adding to the averageness, we have a -0.4 raw UZR in 309 career games in LF out of a possible 375. Lewis strikes me as the perfect fourth outfield candidate. His services are not in high demand; he’s going to come rather cheaply; and he can produce at or around league average. The only problem, though, is the platoon split.
Lewis, a left handed batter, is not very good against left handed pitching. For his career, he owns a .296 wOBA against fellow southpaws (.348 against RHP). This definitely hurts his chances since the Yankees will most likely need the services of a fourth outfielder when they face left handed pitching.
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