With Granderson Coming Back, Who Should Go?

Curtis Granderson will be back in the Yankees’ lineup on Friday, looking to help out an offense that has been rather anemic recently.  Granderson will slot back in center, moving Brett Gardner to left.  As of a week or so ago, that would also mean moving Randy Winn back to the bench, but the past few games the playing time has been going, deservedly, to Kevin Russo.

Russo right now seems to be the better hitter and he’s more versatile than Winn.  So do the Yankees keep Russo and release Winn?  Or do they send Russo back down the Triple-A where he can continue to get regular playing time?

I think if the Yankees only cared about right now, they’d do the former, but will probably ultimately do the later.  Sure, Winn has struggled, but it is a small sample size and you’d rather let a veteran get limited at-bats on the bench than potentially hurt the development of a young player like Russo.

The Yankees could also choose to send down Ramiro Pena, though he is a more versatile infield defender than Russo, so that seems unlikely.

No move would totally shock me at this point and if the Yankees do choose to cut ties with Winn this early, it would certainly be justifiable.

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Also to consider with Granderson coming back is where Girardi will bat him in the order.  Nick Johnson was the perfect #2 hitter, but now he is out for the foreseeable future.  Traditionally, a speed guy like Granderson would seem right for the 2 spot, but analysis has shown that you’re better off with a good OBP guy and for the Yankees right now, that means Nick Swisher.  My gut feeling though is that Girardi will combine these 2 ideas, and use Granderson in the 2 spot against righties and use Swish there against lefties.

That could leave the following:

Against RHP:

1.  Jeter

2.  Granderson

3.  Teixeira

4.  Rodriguez

5.  Cano

6.  Swisher

7.  Miranda

8.  Cervelli

9.  Gardner

Against LHP:

1.  Jeter

2.  Swisher

3.  Teixeira

4.  Rodriguez

5.  Cano

6.  Thames

7.  Gardner

8.  Cervelli

9.  Granderson

I’m suggesting moving Gardner up against lefties because he has actually shown a slight reverse platoon split, but Girardi might be reluctant to move Granderson that far down in the lineup.

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2 Responses to With Granderson Coming Back, Who Should Go?

  1. Eric Communiello says:

    Russo has made the most of his opportunity, but he should be sent down to get regular playing time like you said Brian. As long as Gardner, Granderson and Swisher stay healthy, then Winn won’t be used much and shouldn’t really hurt the team.

    As for the lineup once Curtis returns, I think you’re spot on except I’d hit Gardner 9th in both lineups and let Granderson bat seventh against lefties. I’m a big fan of having Gardner as the double leadoff hitter.

  2. I'd send down Kevin Russo…….Winn is a More Natural Left Fielder, and better-suited to filling in on a full-time basis……Russo is playing OUT OF POSITION….he can learn to play left field on a full-time basis at Scranton, or maybe SWB needs him back in the infield…..either way he plays full-time as opposed to "rotting on the Yanks' bench"