Girardi: We Might Play Around with Lineup

joe-girardiVia Chad Jennings of the Journal News:

“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.

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7 Responses to Girardi: We Might Play Around with Lineup

  1. tron says:

    id like that we trade swish in a huge package in wich the dimondbacks send us justin upton we would probly have to include andrew brackman and austin rommie but if we would have to trade montero its not worth it.

  2. Mike S. says:

    I’d like to see Gardner #2. Barring that, and if spring training experimentation warrants it, Granderson at #2 wouldn’t be bad, either. I’d like to keep Swish out of the 2 spot and have someone with more speed there. I’d like Swish in an RBI spot. Sixth, preferably.

  3. Joe says:

    I think Joey G is a great coach and never really disagreed with anything he has done but last year he made a mistake. Brett ‘The Jett” should have been in that leadoff hole. High OBP, a ton of speed, and get this, more pitches seen then anyone in the AL(Swisher was 2nd). I mean after facing the first two batters every starter will have thrown 12-15 pitches. At the least Gardner should have been leadoff against RHP which he killed all year. This way Jeter still leads off against LHP where he is still successful. Brett was born to bat 1st. I know it’s hard taking that spot from Jeter but it has to be done.

    I would love to see them flip flop the 1 and 9 holes depending on LHP/RHP. That’s the best move IMO.

  4. sjhendu says:

    1) Garner (Great OBP & premier base stealer)

    2) Jeter (Still top opposite field hitter)

    3) Tex

    4) A-rod

    5) Cano (why move him after last year's sucess?)

    6) Posada

    7) Swisher

    8) Martin

    9) Granderson (need him next to Garner)

    • Bronx Knight says:

      1. Gardner

      2. Jeter

      3. Cano

      4. A-Rod

      5. Teixeira

      6. Swisher

      7. Posada

      8. Martin

      9. Granderson

      The #3 spot is for your highest BA hitter with power. That has been Robby Cano for several years now. Teixeira is more of a classic 5-spot hitter: when he swings, it's either a SO or a homerun. The last time he hit over .300 was in 2008. He's a slugger with a good eye, not a hitter. Think Jason Giambi with a gold glove instead of an iron glove.

  5. The Captain says:

    I'm not even going to get into what changes might be made or think should be made right now.

    Let's just take this comment by Joe as a good sign, a sign that he's willing to tweak things if certain players' performances make it necessary. Maybe it's a sign that the days of blind loyalty are over in terms of spots in the batting order.

    That's the good thing to take from this.