The Top Of The LineupPosted: June 20, 2011
Derek Jeter is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 29 and until then, the Yankees are gonna have to get by with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson atop the order. But when Jeter comes back, should they make a change back to the old way?
Brett Gardner got off to an awful start in the lead off spot posting a hitting line of .188/.273/.391 for the month of April. And now so far for the month of June, he is batting .423. Not only has his batting average risen this month, but his OBP is at about .500. We all know that Gardy has wheels and isn’t the ideal lead off man a guy with speed and good on base skills? This being said, since Brett has seemingly put it all together, it would be best for the team if he was the lead off guy. I would give the Yanks some of that explosiveness that they miss out on in being an older team.
If Jeter were not to return to the lead off spot, the next logical place to look the number two hole. However, this poses another problem because Curtis Granderson has been putting together quite a season out of the second spot in the lineup. I’m a big believer in the thought, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” With this, Granderson has been the best hitter from the start of the season and moving him down in the lineup might not be the best idea.
So does this mean that we finally make the move of putting Jeter down in bottom three of the lineup? I’m not sure about that. Joe Girardi does seem to want to preserve his legacy, but a .260/.324/.324 isn’t exactly getting it done. Maybe they wait until he gets to 3000 before moving him down just so he can get the extra at-bats or maybe they try to platoon. Jeter does hit lefties a lot better than rightites (.299/.405/.403 against lefties). Maybe they use the fact that Gardner is a lefty to platoon him and Jeter at the top of the order.
I honestly think they should go with the latter option that I have provided because it somewhat allows Jeter to have his pride, but also helps the team. This really is a sticky situation and I’m hoping it doesn’t wind up getting to messy in the end.