The only remaining argument of Spring Training, aside from the back of the rotation, seems to be what to do with the leadoff spot. Granted, it’s not THAT much of a debate. Joe Girardi keeps hinting that he’d like to have Brett Gardner be the leadoff guy, but we all know it’s going to be Derek Jeter, at least for most of the season.
This annoys the hell out of me. In baseball, there should be no Golden Cows. Once a player starts to show big signs of decline like Jeter did in 2010, adjustments need to be made. Yes, Jeter’s adjusting his swing a bit and yes, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Jeter hits worse than he did during the 2010 campaign. Still, if we objectively look at Jeter’s performance last year, his age, and his position, we find it very hard to justify keeping him in the leadoff spot. He earned it going into 2010, but I don’t think he’s earned it going in to 2011.
Brett Gardner had an absolutely fantastic season and I’m not 100% sure he can repeat it but he’s earned the right to try and repeat it from the leadoff spot in the lineup in 2011. If he can’t handle it, okay, fine, bump him back down in the order and use someone else in that spot. The Yankee lineup is good enough to handle it if Gardner doesn’t put up a .380+ OBP again. And like last year, they can survive another year of un-Jeterian performance from the Captain.
There isn’t much the Yankees can’t overcome on the offensive side of things. However, it’s always nice to put yourself in the best position possible, right? At this point, I think the Yankees would be best served letting Brett Gardner leadoff to start the 2011 season. The end result may not be much different than if Jeter had his name first on the lineup card, but I’m willing to take a shot on Gardner’s Nick Johnson-lite on base skills.
What to do, then, with Jeter becomes the question. Do you slot him back to the second spot in the order where he spent most of his career? Yeah, that’s probably what will happen. I’m not sure I’d like it, since I’d like to see Nick Swisher there, but I could definitely live with it. Batting him ninth would be taken as insulting, but like I said, I don’t care all that much. Just because he’s Derek Jeter doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that he’s not likely to hit like he did in ’06 and ’09 again. No, he doesn’t have to hit that well to be an effective leadoff hitter, but I think his skills could serve the bottom of the lineup just as well as they could serve the top of the lineup.
P.S. Happy birthday, Dad!
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees