Per RAB (via Jack Curry), the Yankees are wasting no time in deploying the platoon advantage at the top of their lineup, as Brett Gardner will get the nod against the righty Justin Verlander on Opening Day Thursday afternoon, with Derek Jeter sliding down to the two spot. Against lefties, Jeter will bat leadoff, with Gardner dropping down to the nine-hole.
This should make everyone happy, as Gardner, who not only led the team in OBP last year but led the Majors in pitches-per-at-bat, will now get the majority of at-bats in the leadoff slot; while Jeter can unleash hell (.397 career wOBA v. lefties) from the top when the team faces portsiders.
While this is a great solution for the top spot in the lineup, one hopes that slotting Jeter second when Gardner leads off doesn’t inadvertently negate any advantages by way of Derek and his propensity to hit into the double-play, but I’m certain if Derek’s groundballing ways drag on into this season the team will quickly reassess the situation.
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