Yankees’ left fielder Brett Gardner batted .302 in the first half of the 2015 season, he had an on-base percentage of .377 and stole 15 bases out of 18 attempts. He made his first All-Star team, and, by all accounts, was one of the best players on the team.
Gardner didn’t fare nearly as well in the second half of the season, with his average dropping to just .206 and his on-base percentage falling to .300.Yankees manager Joe Girardi denied many times that Gardner was playing through a wrist injury, and Gardner never admitted to any injuries.
However, Yankees’ new hitting coach, Alan Cockrell, recently stated that Gardner was having difficulty for much of the later portion of the season because of a wrist injury sustained when he was hit by a pitch.
“Facts are facts.” said Cockrell, “If you don’t have your hands, it’s tough to hit.”
Gardner’s right wrist was hit by a pitch on April 13 (in Baltimore) and after he had an MRI performed. It was the same wrist that had undergone surgery in 2010 to remove some damaged muscle tissue.
His baseball injury may explain why he attempted only seven stolen bases in the latter half of the season; it might have been too painful to hit a base head-and hand-first. Gardner ended the season at .259 with a total of 16 home runs, 66 RBIs and 94 runs.