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What To Do With The Yankees Lineup (The Derek Jeter Post)

Before I start this post, I'd like to point out to those of you (if any) that noticed there was no poll for the roster last night that I am in Pennsylvania and will likely not be able to comment on or edit any posts. I wrote this post and the next beforehand.

This post is a compiled post of the great writers of Pinstripe Alley! I asked the other writers to give me their lineups and reasoning behind the lineups. Enjoy!

Brandon C.:


1. Brett Gardner LF

2. Nick Swisher RF

3. Mark Teixeira 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez 3B

5. Robinson Cano 2B

6. Jorge Posada C

7. Derek Jeter SS

8. Lance Berkman DH

9. Curtis Granderson CF

The reasoning behind this lineup is simple. Brett Gardner should be the Yankees lead off hitter for the rest of the season regardless of matchup. He has every quality a lead off hitter should have and more. Nick Swisher is my preference at the two spot. Teixeira-Rodriguez-Cano is obvious. Posada sixth, then Jeter seventh. Wait, Jeter seventh?

Take a look at these splits, that haven't been referenced to much in arguments about Jeters struggles.

Jeter vs. lefties: .315/.377/.495

Jeter vs. righties: .239/.308/.314

If I was Joe Girardi I would walk up to Jeter and say "listen Derek, I know you've been a one or two hitter your whole career, but Gardner and Swisher are really hitting the ball well, etc. You aren't, etc. You're the captain of the team and I am asking for your approval before I make my decision." Does anyone think Jeter would say no? At least this way Jeter gets a sort of say in the decision.

Finally, the line-up rounds off with Berkman and Granderson.


1. Gardner LF

2. Jeter SS

3. Teixeira 1B

4. Rodriguez 3B

5. Cano 2B

6. Swisher RF

7. Posada C

8. Thames DH

9. Granderson CF

Granderson has been improving against lefties and Jeter, as I said before, is actually hitting lefties well.

On to the rest after the jump.


Versus a righty starting pitcher

1 - Brett Gardner - LF
2 - Derek Jeter - SS
3 - Mark Teixeira - 1B
4 - A-Rod - 3B
5 - Robinson Cano- 2B
6 - Nick Swisher - RF
7 - Jorge Posada - C
8 - Lance Berkman - DH
9 - Curtis Granderson - CF

No big surprises here. I'm trying to take the bigger picture view here - in other words, playing the odds that, on some fundamental level, Marcus Thames probably isn't really this good, nor is Lance Berkman really this bad. Berkman kills righties - a career .307/.422/.590 line - while Thames only has a career .296 OBP against them.

Versus a lefty starting pitcher

1 - Brett Gardner - CF
2 - Derek Jeter - SS
3 - Mark Teixeira - 1B
4 - A-Rod - 3B
5 - Robinson Cano - 2B
6 - Nick Swisher - RF
7 - Jorge Posada - C
8 - Marcus Thames - DH
9 - Austin Kearns- LF

The only difference here is that I'm never, ever, EVER, letting Curtis Granderson face a lefty - he hits .216/.274/.348 against them for his career, which is basically like having Ramiro Pena in the lineup. I'll also take advantage of Marcus Thames superior numbers against lefties and put him in the DH spot.

At this point, Eduardo Nunez is my backup middle infielder and I would have already DFA'd Ramiro Pena. For backup catcher, it's the lesser of two evils between Francisco Cervelli and Chad Moeller.


RHP- Gardner, Berkman, Swisher, Cano, Arod, Tex, Posada, Jeter, Granderson
LHP- Gardner, Kearns, Cano, Tex, Thames, Swisher, Arod, Posada, Jeter

The first thing I'm looking for is handedness: balance in the lineup and splits. I don't want my ideal lineup vulnerable to a lefty or righty specialist. And the bench is a real strength headed into the post season, so I'm not afraid to pinch hit for a better matchup.

Next, I care about OBP. Do you realize that Arod is hitting .202/.293/.371 against lefties this season? His hip is a mess, and he can't pivot on the inside fastball. How about that Tex is nearly OPSing 1.000 against LHP?

The final thing I want is speed at the top of my lineup (see Gardner, Gritty & Gutty) and decent speed rounding out the 9 spot.

Of course, this is all a moot point because I want to play the hot hand in the postseason. If Jeter hits .350 for the last couple weeks of the season, I'll put him back at leadoff. If Swisher looks lost at the plate, he'll bat 8.


Brett Gardner - LF
Derek Jeter - SS
Mark Teixeira - 1B
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Robinson Cano - 2B
Nick Swisher - RF
Marcus Thames - DH
Jorge Posada - C
Curtis Granderson - CF

This would be my "A" lineup, but I'd want to give Lance Berkman and Francisco Cervelli around two starts a week (with Berkman also being used as a the first pinch hitter). With Berkman in the game (most likely with a right handed starter) he would just take the place of Thames and bat 7th. Cervelli, or any other bench player in to give someone a day off, would bat 9th. Keeping Jeter in the #2 spot puts a bit of a monkey wrench in the system, but I know Girardi isn't going to create the mess of "demoting" him, so batting him 8th or 9th just seemed like idle speculation. If not for The Legend of Derek Jeter, I would bat him 9th, I would move Swisher to 2nd, Thames to 6th, Posada to 7th, and Granderson to 8th.


Vs. RHP:
Gardner, LF
Swisher, RF
Cano, 2B
Tex, 1B
Arod, 3B
Posada, C
Berkman, DH
Granderson, CF
Jeter, SS

Vs. LHP:
Gardner, CF
Swisher, RF
Tex, 1B
Arod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Thames, DH
Posada, C
Kearns, LF
Jeter, SS

You'll notice the main theme: Derek Jeter at the bottom of the order. Why is Joe Girardi willing to move a struggling starter like Javy Vazquez (who's established himself as a fine pitcher over 13 seasons) to the bullpen but keeps insisting on having Jeter near the top of the lineup?

Sorry to say it but Derek is the worst everyday hitter on the team. He does have a commanding lead in one major league category though: outs made, with 451, about 20 ahead of the next worst hitter. His OPS is .697. Know who else's OPS is around .697? Randy Winn, Melky Cabrera and Cliff Pennington. (FYI, Winn has batted mostly eighth (with the pitcher last of course, being in the NL), same for Melky, while Pennington has batted mostly ninth. I don't think there's a better example than this.) At least those hitters have played the majority of their games in pitcher-friendly parks, unlike Jeter. Would you ever consider batting one of them near the top of a lineup, never mind the MFY's lineup?! I think not, and neither do their managers.

Elsewhere, Gardner at the top is a no-brainer. He leads the team in OBP, steals and pitcher-per-PA, probably the three most important traits in a leadoff hitter. 3-5 aren't too surprising, save for moving Cano between third and fifth depending on the starter. Cano is having the best season of any Yankee and has proven he can handle a run-producing role.

I hope Girardi realizes Derek should not be near the top of the lineup. His out-making ability is second to none this year - he should be at the bottom of the order where his sub-.700 OPS won't hurt the team so much. I love DJ as much as the next Yankee fan, but you can't run a team based on emotions or nostalgia. Derek's ego might take a hit, but if he is truly The Captain and team leader we think of him as, he should do what's best for the team and not make a fuss if/when he's dropped in the lineup. Hopefully Girardi has the balls to do so.