07/02/08 7:08 PM ET
Slumping Cabrera gets a night off
Hitless in his past 19 at-bats, center fielder replaced by Gardner
By Willie Bans / MLB.com
Cabrera, who is hitless in his past 19 at-bats and batting .240 on the season, couldn't specify why he's struggled recently.
"I don't know," said Cabrera, who has started in center field in 78 of the Yankees' 84 games. "The swing every day is no problem."
Manager Joe Girardi doesn't seem to find anything wrong with Cabrera's offensive approach either.
"He's hit his share of balls hard, but he hasn't found a lot of luck," Girardi said. "He's one of the guys who played both ends of the doubleheader [against the Mets last weekend]. You try to spread out and keep the lineup intact as much as possible. We thought, 'Just give him a day.' He'll be back in there."
In Cabrera's place in center field is rookie Brett Gardner, who was called up Monday and has started two games in left field. The 24-year-old, who played mostly center field in the Minors, is known for his speed and plate discipline. So far, he's 0-for-6 with one stolen base, two strikeouts and one walk.
"The last two nights, I've been really comfortable both in the outfield and at the plate," said Gardner, who hit ninth in the lineup Wednesday. "I really feel at home, and it'll be good to play center field, but center field, left field, right field -- it doesn't matter to me."
Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.