“We’ll continue to talk about our lineup and how guys fit in,” Girardi said. “Right now we don’t expect a ton of changes. We’ve talked about some things internally that we might try to do. I don’t really want to get into it, but we’re not really sure exactly how our lineup’s going to break… We might play around a little bit in spring training.”
In 2009, Yankees manager Joe Girardi moved Derek Jeter from the no. 2 spot in the lineup to leadoff. The move worked wonderfully as the Yankees offense was the best in baseball and carried it all the way to a World Series.
In 2010, Girardi stuck with Jeter atop his lineup despite the fact that The Captain struggled mightily through most of the summer. Fans complained that Jeter was hurting the team by batting leadoff and many worried that his ego was too big to move out of the spot.
In 2011, Girardi has already said that he plans on sticking with Jeter at leadoff, but for the first time today he seems open to the idea of moving things around a bit. Sure he’ll give Jeter a shot to stick there, he does seem committed to improving himself at the plate after all, but it seems that Girardi could move him if he continues to struggle this year.
Girardi also recognized that Curtis Granderson could be a person to move up in the lineup if he continues on his strong second half last year. But Girardi shot down the idea of switching Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano‘s spots in the lineup.
“I have to manage people over the long haul,” Girardi said. “You can’t manage short term, when it’s April and May. You just can’t do it. It’s a lot more than what he does for you today. There’s personality, the feelings, the confidence, how it affects your lineup. It’s a lot. Managing people is different than managing robots.”
He does make a good point. A big part of a baseball player’s identity is in where they hit in the lineup. Batting leadoff or in the no. 3 hole is a big deal to a player and moving them out of those spots can be a big blow to their confidence. Sometimes it’s not as easy as just changing a lineup in a video game. That has to be kept in mind at all times when discussing lineup changes.
It doesn’t seem like he’s even considering moving Alex Rodriguez in the lineup. Girardi said he still has .300-40 home run potential.