Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jeter move back to #2 in lineup permanent?

For the first time in a year and a half, Derek Jeter was the #2 hitter in the New York Yankees lineup, not #1. Will the move be permanent?

It was an inspired move by manager Joe Girardi last year to switch Jeter and Johnny Damon in the lineup, with Damon serving as the perfect #2 hitter between Jeter and Mark Teixeira. But with Damon long gone, can Girardi now spark that same kind of magic by moving Jeter back into the #2 spot he held for years?

It's an intriguing move for a number of reasons. Brett Gardner has more of the speed that you would expect from a traditional lead-off guy, with 24 stolen bases and the ability to go first to third on almost any single while Jeter has only stolen 9 bases so far this year. The outfielder is also outhitting the Yankees Captain .314 to .281.

Jeter, who is still ahead of the pace to break Pete Rose’s all-time hits record, has made it clear on more than one occasion that he does not care where he hits in the lineup, merely expressing a preference to bat in the first inning, so he probably wouldn’t be upset by such a change. And the shortstop has absolutely no problem sacrificing himself to advance a runner, willing to lay down a bunt at any time, an ideal trait for the #2 guy in the lineup.

Can Girardi catch lightning in a bottle twice by making this move permanent? I’m very curious to find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment