Joe Girardi might hit Gary Sanchez second in lineup

Joe Girardi normally doesn’t tinker with the starting lineup during exhibition season–hence him leaving Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury back to back.

However, there was one thing Girardi tinkered with prior to the Yankees 11-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. In a lineup that didn’t have his backup number two hitter Didi Gregorius–Didi is currently playing in the World Baseball Classic–he decided to slot Gary Sanchez as the number two hitter.

The change ended up being beneficial; Sanchez smacked a two run homer when Aaron Hicks got on base.

Following the game, Girardi said it was a lineup change he was willing to consider during the season.

“I’m going to look at it,” Girardi said after the Yankees pounced on the Tigers in Lakeland. “In the first inning, I think I’d prefer to have two guys in front of my best hitter. But then you start going through the other three times through the lineup and you get a few more at-bats over the course of the season, so I can see it both ways.”

Most teams use sabermetrics to determine where their best hitter should be in the starting lineup. Most teams place their best hitter second. While placing Sanchez second would be beneficial for the Yankees, it’s not something Girardi would do everyday.

Girardi is already thinking of ways to break up Ellsbury and Gardner in the starting lineup. Ellsbury’s $153 Million contract has played a role in Girardi’s decision. However, he uses Spring Training as a way to get players ready for the upcoming season. Hence why Gardner and Ellsbury are still hitting back-to-back.

“A lot of my lineups have to do with getting guys the most at-bats they can now (in spring training),” Girardi said. “But I told you I’m going to look at the lineup. When it gets closer I’m going to look at doing a lot of different things and come up with what we think is the best lineup.”

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8 Responses to Joe Girardi might hit Gary Sanchez second in lineup

  1. It could be a benefit to have this lineup against a strong left handed starter

    • Delia Enriquez says:

      Agree. Plus it would give Girardi a chance to rest either Gardner or Ellsbury since they’re not hitting back to back vs. LHP.

      • Jerry says:

        Might not be hitting back to back, but both could still be in the lineup, hopefully not. Those two guys ( Gardner and Ellsbury) need lots of rest.

  2. Randy K. says:

    Girardi plays with himself———WITH BOTH HANDS. You hit your most productive hitters 3rd or 4th.

  3. Balt Yank says:

    I think it would be good to shake it up. Certainly against left-handers, Gardner at the top and Sanchez. It is good to motivate someone like Ellsbury by dropping him to 5-7th. Gardner, Sanchez, Holliday (DH), Bird, Ellsbury, Headley, Didi, Judge, Castro. If Bird can hit and walk like two years ago, this is not a bad 1-4.

    • Delia Enriquez says:

      That’s actually a pretty good lineup against lefties. Although I’m not totally on board with Castro batting last.

  4. tom says:

    I have no qualms with Sanchez batting 2nd but I think I would rather Holliday there. Holliday won't give us 30 HRs but surely will help Gardner to plate home over 110 times with Sanchez, Bird and Judge controlling the qualifying portion of the lineup.

    If Hicks won RF job, Headley should bat against southpaw and Hicks against rightly.

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