Chris Carelli, SNY.tv
Leadoff hitters are typically a key to a team's success. In the Yankees' case, they've jumped out to an 11-7 record despite left fielder Brett Gardner's incredibly poor start at the plate. Is it too early to look at the future without the Yankees' home grown outfielder and is it too late to receive a good return in a trade?
Gardner is hitting .182 with a .318 on-base percentage, .236 slugging percentage and a 68 wRC+ (runs created per plate appearance where 100 is average) in 66 plate appearances on the young season. However, Gardner's troubles go all the way back to the second half of the 2015 season.
The moment Gardner returned from his first All-Star game, he began to backpedal offensively. Gardner has stood at the plate 993 times since July 17, 2015. During the span, Gardner sports a .240 batting average, .334 on-base percentage, .333 slugging percentage and an 86 wRC+. Gardner, once prolific on the bases, has swiped a mere 26 bases (caught six times) in the stretch, though he has five this season. Gardner has managed just three months (out of nine, including this month) with a wRC+ above 100 since August 2015. These are not small samples.