Hey, everybody. It's been a while since I posted something, so here goes.
The Replacement Level Yankee Weblog recently ran a post about what the Yankees would look like if the season started today. This means the only move made would be Nick Swisher's acquisition. I don't think that this will be the only move the Yankees make, but if it were, here is how I would arrange the lineup if I were G.I. Joe.
1. Johnny Damon, LF--I guess this one's a no-brainer. Damon's been the leadoff hitter for years now and has done fine, no need to rock the boat. However, Derek Jeter would be a fine leadoff hitter as well, IMO.
2. Derek Jeter, SS--Just like Damon, this is another no brainer. Jeter's always been the two hitter so no real reason to move him. Hopefully, though, he has a bit of a rebound year, especially in terms of power. He could also bat leadoff and Damon could bat second. Either order of the two would be fine.
3. Nick Swisher, 1B--Swisher, like Bobby Abreu but better, has a great batting eye and some pop as well. With him in the three hole, that'd be three guys in a row with good batting eyes to get on base for A-Rod. Swisher has a great combination of pop and patience that a three hitter needs.
4. Alex Rodgriguez, 3B--Does this really need an explanation?
5. Jorge Posada, C--Posada's bat was probably the biggest offensive loss for the Yankees in 2008. Despite his crazy-good 2007, I think we all undervalued how much Posada added to the offense and his presence should help the Yankees offense. I like him for the five hole to bring in A-Rod and whatever he leaves on the bases. Hideki Matsui or Robinson Cano could also be candidates for the five spot. I have no real argument against Matsui, I just prefer Posada there. As for Cano, I think his patience isn't developed enough to bat this high in the order. He makes good contact (had a great LD% this year) and has some pop, but I still want his not-so-high OBP lower in the order.
6. Hideki Matsui, DH--He's a good fit for the six spot. Decent average, decent OBP, decent power. If There's a right handed pitcher, it's two lefties back to back. If it's a left handed pitcher, there's still a RH/LH balance between the five/six spots.
7. Xavier Nady, RF--I really do think last year's hot start--the first half, and his first week with the Yankees--was an incredible fluke. I don't think he's gonna suck this year, but he definitely won't be great. The seven spot seems right for him, plus, it keeps a left/right balance that I like to have. Cano could also bat here if Posada and Matsui are flipped, with Nady taking the eight spot.
8. Robinson Cano, 2B--I think this spot, or the seven spot, fits Cano best until he gets some patience. He was a victim of bad luck last year, but his lack of patience still puts him in a lower spot in the order.
9. Brett Gardner, CF--While this has the potential to put three left handers in a row, there's really no where else to bat Gardner. He showed that he was semi-overmatched at the ML level to begin with--despite a great showing during his second cup of coffee--but still showed a decent eye. A good OBP here at the bottom of the order (I see anywhere from .340-.360 for Gardner) could put some runners on base for the top of the order.
So, in review:
1. Damon LF
2. Jeter SS
3. Swisher 1B
4. Rodriguez 3B
5. Posada C
6. Matsui DH
7. Nady RF
8. Cano 2B
9. Gardner CF
Of course, this can, and probably will, change. But, for now, just bear with me, k?