Marcus Thames had a fine regular season, mostly as the designated hitter against lefthanders, batting .288 with 12 home runs and 33 runs batted in over 212 at-bats. Not bad for a salary of $900,000.
Thames is a key figure in Game 1 against Twins' starter Francisco Liriano, who has yielded three home runs to Thames in 14 career at-bats. Thames is also hitting .357 vs. Liriano.
Thames could play a crucial role throughout the postseason as the opposition will look to throw as many lefties as possible.
Perhaps Thames will emerge as Hideki Matsui did last postseason. The Yanks decided not to keep the World Series hero, who was signed as a free agent for $6 million by the Angels. He ended the season hitting .274 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs. But it seems unlikley that the 36-year-old will receive another contract from California.