You'll remember that last week, I mused about the possible lineup construction for the 2013 squad. Let's revisit the idea of the lineup one more time, with something else in mind. If you've read this site, then you're probably familiar with the Replacement Level Yankee Blog and its CAIRO Projections. The last iteration of them came out on January 28th. What's nice about the CAIRO splits is that they also include platoon breakdowns; each player has his normal projections and his split projections in the form of wOBA vs. LHP and RHP. Let's take a look at the lineups I presented in my previous post and see what each guy is projected to do. We'll start against lefties for a bit of a switch. The number next to each player is the projected wOBA:
1. Jeter, SS: .354 2. Youkilis, 3B: .367 3. Teixeira, 1B: .362 4. Cano, 2B: .356 5. Diaz, DH: .321; Rivera, DH: .324 6. Granderson, CF: .305 7. Cervelli, C: .310 8. Ichiro, RF: .323 9. Gardner, LF: .309
The only disappointing things are the relatively low wOBAs for Diaz and Rivera. They're both in camp to hope to become the team's Major League lefty mashers, so we'd hope for something a little higher than wOBA's in the low-to-mid .320's. Brett Gardner might need a platoon partner in left, but seeing Ichiro projected for a wOBA that "high" is encouraging. CAIRO also seems to predict a platoon partner for Curtis Granderson, though he's been better against lefties of late (and we know Joe Girardi won't platoon Granderson...at least not right away). Let's jump to righties and see what we come up with.
1. Gardner, LF: .332 2. Jeter, SS: .322 3. Teixeira, 1B: .346 4. Cano, 2B: .392 5. Granderson, CF: .361 6. Youkilis, 3B: .341 7. Hafner, DH: .362 8. Cervelli, C: .292 9. Ichiro, RF: .331
This lineup is a bit more well rounded and a bit more solid. There's just one wOBA under .320 and it belongs--predictably--to Francisco Cervelli. For posterity's sake, Chris Stewart's projected wOBA against RHP is .283 (.303 vs. LHP). My eyes definitely lit up thinking about Cano having a .392 wOBA against righties (for the record, he did .461 against righties).
Remember, projections aren't predictions, but logical inferences as to what each player can do. If the CAIRO projections I've put forward here are indicative of anything, it's that they might be a bit on the conservative side. However, they show us that the Yankees should still have a pretty solid offense. It may not necessarily be the complete and total package that we're used to, but it should still pound out some quality runs. How many could it do? We'll check in on that on Thursday.