Musing On Lineup Possibilities

Joe Lineup Card

“So I put Gardy here, and Teix here, and Didi here… “/Courtesy of Reuters

While they’re still hampered by an old, declining, high-injury risk group of power bats in the middle third of the batting order, the Yankees have done pretty well to upgrade their positions of greatest weakness and add some much needed depth to the position player portion of their roster this offseason.  There are enough guys in place and a few more guys who’ll be in play when ST starts to give Joe the potential to mix and match his lineups more strategically than he’s been able to the last few years.  Then it was him mixing and matching just to keep guys healthy and have enough warm bodies to fill out a lineup card.  Now it could be much more geared towards playing matchups and emphasizing the strengths of each player, of course with the goal of keeping the aforementioned old, injury-prone players healthy remaining in place.…

Read more

Yankees Complete Lineup With Headley

After signing Chase Headley to a four-year, $52 million contract, the Yankees have all of their position players set for the 2015 season. Brian Cashman announced that Alex Rodriguez will be the full-time designated hitter. Martin Prado will be able to give new shortstop Didi Gregorius an experienced double play partner to play next to. Jose Pirela should be able to fill the utility role and Rob Refsynder should be able to go back to Triple-A for more seasoning.

The best thing about this Yankees lineup is its depth. You could argue that their is no throw away spot in the order unless Gregorius or Brendan Ryan is in against a lefty. That certainly has not been the case in recent seasons with guys like Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart and Vernon Wells in the lineup on a pretty consistent basis. Unfortunately, I could go on and on with that list.

What the Yankees really lack is a true middle of the order hitter, a real power threat who is one of the best hitters in MLB.…

Read more

Considering A-Rod As The Regular DH

A-Rod-HR-Celebration-vs-BOS

Still the best home run celebration ever.

Yesterday was proof that Alex Rodriguez still matters in MLB, even if he is a broken down, disgraced former great who might not even be physically capable of playing anymore.  I actually found it humorous that Cash’s comments about A-Rod’s role next year were such a big deal.  I mean, in Yankee media circles it makes sense.  He still plays for the Yankees.  But to see it mentioned on the ESPN scroll like it was actual news was ridiculous.  Like anybody else was holding out hope that he would be the starter at third even after they signed Chase Headley.

So love him or hate him, people still want to know what’s up with A-Rod and now we know how the Yankees are planning to utilize him next season.  With all the mileage on his body and multiple years remaining on his contract, the best way to get max on-field value out of him is from his bat.  …

Read more

Quick Hit: Today’s Lineup, and the Almost Best Defense

Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira have the day off, so today’s lineup will be:

Brett Gardner, LF
Martin Prado, 3B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carlos Beltran, DH
Chase Headley, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Francisco Cervelli, C
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brendan Ryan, 2B

Shane Greene, SP

The defensive alignment of this team is almost perfect, with Drew and Ryan playing up the middle, strong defenders throughout the outfield, and Headley and Prado at first and third, respectively. However, Headley is the superior defender at third, and Prado has played 56 games at first base, as compared to four for Headley. While moving from third to first is a move down on the defensive spectrum, it is not necessarily a transition that can be made easily at the drop of the hat, so it seems curious that Joe Girardi would downgrade at both positions this afternoon.

Read more

Quick Hit: Tonight’s Lineup, Roster Moves

The first pitch for tonight’s game is scheduled for 8:05 PM. Here’s your lineup:

Brett Gardner, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Brian McCann, 1B
Carlos Beltran, DH
Chase Headley, 3B
Francisco Cervelli, C
Brian Roberts, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Zoilo Almonte, LF

David Phelps, SP

To make room for Almonte, Jeff Francis was designated for assignment. This can be filed under ‘duh,’ insofar as predictability is concerned, as the team was carrying thirteen pitchers on the active roster, including three left-handed relievers (the other two being David Huff and Matt Thornton).

So long (for now), Jeff. We hardly new ye.

Read more

Today’s Lineup: Wheeler In Right

Yanks going with a little bit of a different look at the bottom today as they continue to deal with life without Teix and KJ.  Here’s how Joe filled out his card for this afternoon’s series finale:

1) Gardner- LF
2) Jeter- SS
3) Ellsbury- CF
4) Beltran- DH
5) McCann- 1B
6) Headley- 3B
7) Cervelli- C
8) Wheeler- RF
9) Ryan- 2B

SP) Greene

Here’s hoping Brendan Ryan can handle second base better than B-Rob has been with sinker baller Greene on the hill.  Game thread coming up later.

Read more

Tonight’s Lineup: 7/18/14

Featuring the return of Carlos Beltran from the 7-day concussion DL.  He’ll bat 6th as the DH and the rest of tonight’s lineup looks like this:

1) Gardner- LF
2) Jeter- SS
3) Ellsbury- CF
4) Teix- 1B
5) Big Mac- C
6) Beltran- DH
7) Ichiro- RF
8) B-Rob- 2B
9) Johnson- 3B

SP) Phelpsie

You’ll remember that Bryan Mitchell was sent down to Triple-A during the break, so the Yankees already had an open 25-man roster spot.  No other move was made to get Beltran back into the mix.  Here’s hoping that little rest was enough for the rest of his body and he can start hitting again.

Read more

Seven (straw) arguments for Ellsbury leading off

I am saving you folks a bunch of time making comments by admitting up front that I am creating a flawed statistical argument to support a personal bias and belief. I want Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off for the Yankees. That is what he was signed to do and that is not what he is doing. And since I am not a statistical genius like many of my colleagues here, I can only create weak statistical arguments to support my biased belief. I bet you have never seen an opening paragraph like this one before.

At least I am being honest here. Like many Yankee observers in 2014, I am extremely surprised by the offensive efforts of this team. Offense was not supposed to be a problem this year. And yet it is. The team is 22nd out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored. The team has a 93 OPS+. The offense more resembles last year’s ragtag outfit than a team that was “fixed” in the off season by some key upgrades.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Today’s Lineup

It isn’t pretty.  Here’s the lineup the Yankees will go to battle with today:

1) Gardner- LF
2) Jeter- SS
3) McCann- C
4) Beltran- DH
5) Johnson- 1B
6) Soriano- RF
7) Ichiro- CF
8) Roberts- 2B
9) Solarte- 3B

SP) Nuno

Via the beat reporters, Teix had his left knee drained after last night’s game and so Joe wanted to give him a day off, and Jacoby Ellsbury is out today with what’s being called “general soreness”.  Joe described him as “pretty beat up” when he talked to reporters earlier.

The betting line for runs scored today is 1.5.  Who wants that action?

Read more