Brett Gardner’s back (but he’s hitting 8th in the order)

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Let’s start with the good news and then we’ll go to the bad news.

Good News: Brett Gardner is back in the Yankees lineup.

Bad News: Brett Gardner is hitting eighth in the order.

Is Joe Girardi going to stick with Gardner lower in the order and Jacoby Ellsbury in the lead-off spot? The answer is…no. See, Girardi’s lineup is based off numbers against David Price and Gardner doesn’t hit well against the southpaw (he’s 2-for-20 if you read the pitching match-up post from yesterday). Since Ellsbury has good numbers, he stays in the lead-off spot for at least one more day.

Girardi said the Yankees are going to go back to the Gardner-Ellsbury-Derek Jeter lineup fairly soon but sometimes it’s interesting to give the lineup a slight shakeup.

“I think there are more options,” Girardi said. “But don’t think that you won’t see that. I’m not saying that you won’t see those three guys together again. It could be different too.”

Some Notes

Masahiro Tanaka is still on track to throw a simulated game tomorrow and he’s slated to go three innings or 45 pitches. During his segment with Tanaka, Girardi also talked about planning with confidence through Tanaka’s rehab process.

“I think you plan it out, and it’s either going to work or it’s not going to work. As long as you’re having steps in the right direction, it’s working. That doesn’t mean that it’s a guarantee. If you have a setback, it probably means surgery. It’s not like rehabbing a hamstring or something like that where you can have a setback and, OK, we’ve got to set him down. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”

— So what’s the plan with David Price and the Detroit Tigers?

“It’s not how you start, it’s always how you finish,” Girardi said. “Let’s remember that. Obviously you’d love to get a lead on David Price and get to him early because it seems like once he gets on a roll, he can be pretty tough, but you’ve just got to find a way to win the game.”

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