Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Lineup

Both Pete Abraham and River Avenue Blues touched on the lineup for the upcoming season, so I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

According to Mr. Abraham, Girardi will "likely...hit Tex third and A-Rod fourth." This is something I disagree with. If I'm General Girardi, I hit Rodriguez third and Tex fourth. For starters, Rodriguez is the better hitter and should get more plate appearances and putting him third gives him about 20 more PAs over the course of the season. Second, while I'm not a huge believe in "protection" or whatever, I believe that batting Teixeira behind Rodriguez would be smarter and more effective than batting Matsui behind Rodriguez, as would probably be the case if A-Rod batted cleanup.

Not to pick on Joe, I've got a disagreement with RAB, as well. The author of the post, Joe, suggests batting Robinson Cano fifth so the top five would look the same regardless of who had an off day, be it Posada, Swisher, Nady, or Matsui. Personally, I'm not a fan of Cano batting third because of his lack of patience. I just don't think a guy who's basically making a hit or making an out when he gets to the plate should be batting fifth, regardless of his power potential.

Joe also touches on lineup splits and here's my thought on those. I don't really think Nady's going to continue his hot hitting ways against right handers, so I'd like him to play primarily against left handers. And though Matsui's platoon splits aren't as pronounced as Nady's, for his health's sake, I'd prefer him to play mostly against righties. I'm the president of Team Swisher so I obviously want him playing full time, and I believe he will be the full time starter in right. So, how would I put together the lineup if I'm Joe Girardi? Here:

v. RHP:
1. Johnny Damon LF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Alex Rodriguez 3B
4. Mark Teixeira 1B
5. Hideki Matsui DH
6. Jorge Posada C
7. Nick Swisher RF
8. Robinson Cano 2B
9. Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner CF

v. LHP:
1. Damon DH
2. Jeter SS
3. Rodriguez 3B
4. Teixeira 1B
5. Nady LF
6. Posada C
7. Swisher RF
8. Cano 2B
9. Cabrera/Gardner CF

The v. LHP lineup is somewhat different, but I have my reasons. It gives Hideki Matsui a full day off and Johnny Damon a half day off, to rest his knees and shoulder. Nady's not the strongest fielder in all the world, but he has a 2.1 UZR/150 in left over his career. He's also a great hitter against lefties, so it gives him a chance to get some starts.

Obviously, this could all change very quickly depending on injuries and early season performances, but hopefully Joe Girardi is reading this and gets a bright idea or two from it. That's all for today. Thanks for reading!


Rob Abruzzese said...

You make some good points here, but I don't think Nady is a platoon player at this point. His "hot" hitting against righties isn't just some sort of luck. He's hit well against them for the past two years. That's a little bit longer than a fluke. He's a legit .800 OPS guy who should hit consistently and play everyday.

Matt said...

Your point is well taken and I hope Nady can be a strong hitter this year, but I have other reasons that I didn't mention for wanting Swisher over Nady. He plays a better RF defense than Xavier and with Swisher and Gardner in the OF, the Yankees could have one of the best OF defenses in the league.