Monday, February 24, 2014

Will Joe Put Up A Smart Lineup?

This weekend the Yankees signed left fielder Brett Gardner to a 4 year 52 million dollar deal and immediately I thought "Who's going to bat second?" with the offseason signing of Jacoby Ellsbury to a ridiculous 7 year 153M to bat lead off and play center field the Yankees have put Girardi in an interesting position. A 1-2 punch of Ellsbury and Gardner at top of the lineup would be a dream for any manager in the majors, but unlike other managers Girardi has to deal with the retiring legend in No. 2 Derek Jeter. If I were Girardi I would think Jeter would be best batting 6-8 in the lineup. With newcomers Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano who should be fixed to hit 3-5 in the lineup and the returning Mark Texeira who would fit in the 6 hole in the lineup I don't see how Jeter should be in the top 3 in the lineup. 

But considering that this is Jeter's swan song I don't know what Girardi is going to do. How upset would fans be if they come to the ballpark and find out that Jeter is batting 7th, 8th, or 9th? He'd still be playing shortstop (or DH), but would the outrage against Girardi be really that loud? Last season the Yankees didn't make the playoffs and this year they invested HEAVILY into this year's (and several other years') payroll so would having a black hole batting second (a 73% ground ball rate in his last full season and a career 272 double plays) be what's good for the team? Considering that Ellsbury gets on base plenty of times (when healthy) would having a double play machine in Jeter be wise when Gardner would be way more difficult to double off since he can fly down the line? Good luck to Joe on deciding whether No. 2 will bat 2... or 7th.

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