Brett Gardner, who is in his eighth year with the Yankees, was the AL Player of the Week for the week of June 22-28. He had an outstanding .500 (13/26)/.581/.885 slash line with two homers, four doubles, six RBIs and nine runs scored during the previous week. In the last six games, his average has improved from .279 to .300. The Yankees went 3-3 in those six games.
He has been a catalyst at the top of the lineup with Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list. Ellbury, who completed one final running test before the game on Sunday in front of Joe Girardi and Yankees personnel, was to begin a minor league rehab assignment today. He had a .324 average with a homer, six RBIs and 14 steals in 37 games as of May 19 when he went on the disabled list due to right knee sprain.
Gardner will likely go back to hitting second in the lineup when Ellsbury finishes his minor league rehab at the end of the week. When Ellsbury is healthy, the Yankees will have two players capable of wreaking havoc at the top of the order who can steal bases, get on base at a high rate and score a lot of runs.
Gardner, who went to the College of Charleston and is from South Carolina, has been hitting very well for all of June and especially the previous 10 games. Gardner has an outstanding seven multi-hit games in his his previous 10 games, and in the month of June he has a higher than normal .343 (35-102) average with two homers, nine doubles, 18 RBIs and 27 runs scored.
He has only missed six out of the 76 games this season, which proves how durable he has been. Besides Sunday’s game when he let a ball drop between him and Garrett Jones, he has played outstanding defense the whole season. He is locked in at the plate right now and his 19 doubles are tied for fifth in the American League, his 58 runs scored are tied for first in the AL, his .373 on-base percentage is 12th in the AL and his 15 steals are tied for second in the league.
He will be batting leadoff once again tonight in the series opener against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. During their series in Houston against the Astros the Yankees (41-35) won two games and lost two games. Jose Pirela will play second with Stephen Drew getting the night off and John Ryan Murphy will be behind the plate with Brian McCann getting the game off due to a lefty pitching.