Yankee lefty batters in 2017 were about league average:
First baseman Greg Bird was injured most of the 2017 season but hit well in the 2017 tournament as he did in the 2015 wild card game, which the Yankees lost. In 57 tournament plate appearances (PA) Bird has three homers and .921 OPS. Ironically, in 2017 Bird hit much better against lefty pitchers:
Ellsbury is likely to be phased out. And despite initial talk about where Stanton will play, including DH, in 2018 what makes the most sense is for Stanton to remain a right fielder and for Judge to move to left. Stanton is the one who will be in an unfamiliar situation and he's never played left. Plus, Judge covers more ground and left in Yankee Stadium is much bigger than right. Forget about either spending much time at DH unless there's an injury.
Aaron Hicks, switch hitter:
Among those three only switch hitter Hicks hit well against lefty pitchers but he was on the DL twice and had never hit that well overall in any previous season. So while Hicks may get ample consideration for playing center field along with Gardner, Hicks is not likely to be DH very often.
Well before there was any indication that Stanton might come to the Yankees I had been telling friends that it made sense for the Yankees to trade for Cub lefty batter Kyle Schwarber to be the Yankee DH in 2018.
Schwarber started 2017 so badly that he was sent to the minors. But he returned and rebounded and hit 30 home runs in only 422 at bats (AB). Here are his 2017 splits:
Schwarber can't hit lefties but he hits quite well against righties, who throw at least 70% of the pitches. With the Yankees best hitters being righty, they are likely to face a lot of righty pitchers. The Yankees need more balance in their lineup in order to put even more pressure on opposing pitchers to wear them down.
There are these added benefits:
1. Catcher Gary Sanchez takes most of the remaining DH games against lefty starting pitchers.
2. Sanchez gets ample rest and catches no more than about 120 games.
3. Schwarber, who had been a catcher and is now a weak left fielder, can be the Yankees emergency catcher, giving new Yankee manager Aaron Boone more latitude in using Sanchez as DH.
The Cubs would consider a reasonable offer, maybe young righty hitting outfielder Clint Frazier, who is now expendable with the addition of Stanton. Schwarber is a fielding liability for the Cubs and he only hits righties. But Schwarber would be a valuable asset for the 2018 Yankees.
What do you think?