In just about three hours, the Yankees will take the field for Opening Day. The team revealed its 25-man roster plans over the weekend, but questions about the starting lineup remained. Now we know exactly who is playing and in what order they’re batting. Per the Yankees PR department, here’s the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Orioles:
- Brett Gardner CF
- Aaron Judge RF
- Giancarlo Stanton LF
- Luke Voit DH
- Miguel Andujar 3B
- Gary Sanchez C
- Greg Bird 1B
- Gleyber Torres 2B
- Troy Tulowitzki SS
Andrew Cashner won’t have it easy trying to navigate that order, especially in the first inning.
This lineup answers a few questions I wondered about yesterday. It turns out that Aaron Boone did make the decision to bat Judge and Stanton back-to-back. That makes so much sense, especially to start the game. Force the opposing pitcher to face two of baseball’s greatest power threats right out of the gate. There’s no easing into things with that construction. Splitting them up with a high-contact or left-handed hitter strikes me as overthinking.
The Bombers also will play both Voit and Bird, with the former getting his at-bats as the designated hitter. Voit will bat cleanup, too, which speaks to how impressive he has been over the last eight months or so. Following up a 187 wRC+ run with a .943 spring training OPS earns you a premiere spot in the lineup.
What strikes me as the most telling part of this group, however, is there is hardly a soft spot. The only reprieve a pitcher may have is the Tulowitzki - Gardner combination, but even then Judge lurks. If nothing else, Gardner can work a count and annoy whoever is on the mound to no end.
As strong as this lineup is, it’s mind-boggling to think it should improve. At some point, Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius will enter the mix. DJ LeMahieu could also add an interesting dynamic with his extreme contact profile. The Yankees are that deep.
What do you think of the lineup? Let us know in the comments section!