The Yankees opening day lineup last year included five left-handed hitters, two switch hitters (one being Melky), and two right-handed hitters. The team was heavily left-handed, hitting just .258/.339/.395 against left-handed pitching (versus .277/.343/.441 against right-handers) – a major weakness.
The Yankees subtracted Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu, two lefties, and added Mark Teixeira, a true switch-hitter, and some combination of Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady. Consider this lineup:
- LF: Johnny Damon
- SS: Derek Jeter
- 1b: Mark Teixeira
- 3b: Alex Rodriguez
- DH: Hideki Matsui
- RF: Xavier Nady
- 2b: Robinson Cano
- C: Jorge Posada
- CF: Brett Gardner
That leads to:
- Lefties: 4
- Righties: 3
- Switch Hitters: 2
That’s not just a deep lineup, its a balanced one. The Yankees shouldn’t struggle every time a decent lefty hits the mound like they did last year. While they won’t take as much advantage of the boundaries of Yankee Stadium, they’ll be better overall.
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