Why did the Yankees slot Matt Holliday at first base?


 

Matt Holliday playing first base isn’t just to get him playing time during inter league play.

Prior to the Yankees game against the Houston Astros, Joe Girardi sent out a lineup that had Holliday at first, all four outfielders either on the field or DH, and Chris Carter on the bench.

With no Greg Bird and Carter struggling against everyone, Girardi felt comfortable having Holliday at the hot corner.

“I’m just trying to get all our left-handed hitters in there, and keep all of our outfielders in there,” Girardi said during pregame. “(Holliday) played (first base) a few days in Chicago and Cincinnati, and we felt comfortable with where he was at out there.”

While the Yankees are comfortable with Holliday at first, there’s one other reason the Yankees decided to have him play the field. Saturday’s forecast calls for heavy rain most of the day, and Girardi is assuming the Yankees / Astros game will be postponed.

“We’re not playing a lot of days in a row, in a sense; I’m kind of under the assumption tomorrow might be a wash, so he’ll play a day, get a day off, and we’ll see what we do on Sunday,” Girardi said.

If you were wondering, there’s no bias between Carter and Holliday to start vs. Lance McCullers; neither batter has faced McCullers in their career. But with Carter struggling and lefties posting a .280 average against McCullers, Girardi decided to ride the hotter hand in Holliday.

“We’ll do this some, but I still plan on playing Chris Carter at first,” Girardi said. “I think you go by track record and believe he’s going to hit one of his streaks, but sometimes, there’s a substantial split that might change what you do. That’s kind of what I’m doing tonight against McCullers; it’s our ballpark and I think left-handers play favorably in our ballpark, and it’s mostly about the splits, so we have all the lefties in there.”

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