Young New England Lineup: Gardner 8, Suzuki 9, Cano 4, Wells DH, Almonte 7, Overbay 3, Lillibridge 5, Nunez 6, Stewart 2, Pettitte 1.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughSL) July 19, 2013
Woof. Dark times at Fenway. The Yankees face lefty Felix Doubront tonight, and while the top three hitters in the lineup are all also lefties, it doesn't matter. The rest of the lineup is just ugly anyway.
Brent Lillibridge makes his Yankees debut batting seventh at third base while Luis Cruz and Alberto Gonzalez ride the bench. For what it's worth, he has a slight platoon advantage against southpaws, though it's still nothing impressive: .227/.276/.416 vs. .191/.267/.282 against righties. The only power he has seems to come with lefties on the mound, so maybe he can make like Bucky Dent and pop a fly over that big green thing in left field. Don't count on it though.
On a related note, it's pretty depressing that Eduardo Nunez is batting eighth in this lineup behind Overbay (who is terrible against lefties) and Lillibridge (who is just terrible). The Yankees talked him up as some kind of a "lefty killer" in September last year and the beginning of 2013, but his stock has fallen far enough that the aforementioned struggling infielders are batting ahead of him. This year has been an utter bust for him so far in his attempt to show that he could possibly succeed Derek Jeter at shortstop. With Jeter out for at least another week and his future in the field unclear, the Yankees could really use some production in the lineup out of the shortstop position.
Triple-A Scranton takes on the Louisville Bats tonight in the Electric City, and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup as the designated hitter. This will be his fourth game out of eleven on his rehab assignment as the DH. Ken Rosenthal reported that a scout who saw A-Rod last night thought he was moving much better than Jeter was during his brief rehab stint, and that he liked what he saw at the plate. The Yankees are desperate for any kind of righty production; even if a limited A-Rod could be a boon for the lineup and provide Robinson Cano at least some protection beyond Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner.
YES's Lou DiPietro has a 40-man roster suggestion that could get Lillibridge onto the squad without needing to cut ties with anyone:
40-man move is a crapshoot. SWB has roster opening, so NYY could I think activate Boesch off AAA DL, recall/60-day DL him, add Lillibridge.— Lou DiPietro (@LouDiPietroYES) July 19, 2013
Brennan Boesch has been injured seemingly forever with a bum shoulder, so this makes a lot of sense. We'll see what the Yankees do though. Also, I recently learned that Corban Joseph is out for the year due to shoulder surgery, so they could move him to the 60-day DL as well.