So far, the Yankees have generally hit the ball well. They’ve knocked a ton of homers out of the park and have done a good job putting early runs on the board. Building on those runs has been an issue, but that can be overcome rather quickly. An idea that some of us here at TYA have been kicking around is that the Bombers have been getting good production out of their lineup despite the fact that the top two hitters in the order–Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter–haven’t hit terribly well yet and are off to a slow start. It’s far too early to draw any sort of conclusions about the seasons either player will have, but I think there’s a question that begs, at the least, discussion: What happens if, after the first month, Jeter and Gardner are hitting poorly and it’s affecting team performance?
One half of this question is probably pretty easy to flesh out: if Brett Gardner isn’t doing it at the top of the order, Joe Girardi will simply re-relegate him back to the bottom of the order. With that move, I’d expect to see Nick Swisher getting the lion’s share of the appearances in the number two spot, with Curtis Granderson chipping in there occasionally. This, of course, assumes that Derek Jeter is going to be hitting well enough to be the leadoff hitter. If that’s the case, well, you’re (essentially) back to 2010′s lineup, and that worked out pretty well for the Yankees.
The equation changes just a bit if it’s Gardner who’s hitting well and Jeter who isn’t. If Brett is doing his on-base thing with the occasional gap double, it would be hard to justify taking him out of the leadoff spot. If Jeter isn’t doing his thing, the logical thing would be to move him down in the lineup. But will that happen? It’s doubtful, but we can dream, right? In the event that this scenario comes true, I’d imagine we’d see Gardner/Swisher full time, as to avoid having Gardner/Granderson bat next to each other, creating a favorable scenario for opposing LOOGYs.
But, like the post title says, what if BOTH of them are hitting poorly and, somehow, the decision is made to drop BOTH of them, including Jeter, into spots that garner fewer plate appearances?
There are a few ways the Yankees could roll with each spot. For the leadoff guy, they could go with the powerful version of Brett Gardner: Curtis Granderson. Granderson led off when he was with the Tigers and did it quite well, so it’s not like he’s untested in that batting order position. While he may not walk as much as Gardner does, Granderson still draws his fair share of base-on-balls and adds an element of power to the leadoff spot. Power isn’t something necessary there, but a little power never hurt anybody. If this was the case, we’d probably see Nick Swisher in the two hole.
Another scenario could see us reverse those two, with Swisher leading off and Granderson batting second. This is helpful because Swisher offers the same on base abilities as Brett Gardner, while also keeping up with the power that Curtis Granderson brings.
Of these two options, I’m most inclined to go with Swisher leading off full time. He’s a switch hitter so he won’t need a platoon partner and he’s got the best combination of leadoff skills of any of the other available players. For the two spot, though, I think I’d be willing to go to a platoon. Granderson could take the two spot against right handed pitchers and Russell Martin could take it against lefties. Martin may not have a ton of pop, but he’s got a good eye and enough speed.
Is any of this going to happen? Probably not. I definitely wouldn’t hold my breath or count on it or anything like that. But, it’s nice to have the idea of a contingency plan in your head. I think the lesson we can all take from this, though, is that the Yankee lineup is absurdly deep. I didn’t even include Robinson Cano in the discussion, but he could easily bat in the two spot. Granderson and Swisher bat in the lower third of the order, yet have the skills to be top of the order hitters, and the same goes for Russell Martin. Fear this lineup, no matter who hits where.
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
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- 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
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