Feb
24

Girardi wants a stable lineup

By

When I asked how Joe Girardi will handle the 2009 lineup, many didn’t think it was such a big deal. There isn’t any solid correlation between using fewer lineups and team success, and even if there were we probably couldn’t prove it a causal relationship. Still, as I said in the article, I’d like to see the Yankees go with a somewhat set one through five. Thankfully, even if the No. 5 hitter is part of a platoon the team should still be in good shape. A big part of the problem last year was that there wasn’t any viable No. 5 hitter, at least later in the season, when Giambi sat.

As Ken Davidoff notes, the Yankees used 130 lineups last year, but only used their Opening Day lineup once. That was definitely the “A” lineup in the early going: Damon-Jeter-Abreu-Rodriguez-Giambi-Cano-Posada-Matsui-Melky. It does feel like they did play those nine players together more than once — maybe by “only once” Davidoff meant in that order. Cano slid down the order pretty quickly. And then Jorge got hurt, A-Rod got hurt, Matsui got hurt, Melky started sucking…all that leads to the manager scrambling to find an optimal arrangement of the players available that day.

Once things started to settle down after the trade deadline, we did see some consistency from Girardi. As he says, he’d like to keep things that way:

“I prefer to have a set lineup. I think it works best. But sometimes, similar to some of the teams that I was on, you’re better if there’s some platoon situations, or your bench is extremely strong, or everyone’s in the mix, or everyone’s healthy. We just have to see how it shakes out.”

I think Ridiculous Upside nailed it in the comments:

Against RHP:

1. Damon, LF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Teixeira, 1B
4. Rodriguez, 3B
5. Matsui, DH
6. Swisher, RF
7. Cano, 2B
8. Posada, C
9. Cabretta, CF

Against LHP:

1. Damon, LF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Teixeira, 1B
4. Rodriguez, 3B
5. Nady, DH
6. Swisher, RF
7. Cano, 2B
8. Posada, C
9. Cabretta, CF

With Posada batting so low you can just substitute Molina for him and it’s a seamless change. True, if Posada is truly back to form and hitting like, say, 2006, perhaps he could bat higher in the order. Still, I think considering all the talent the Yankees have on roster, they’ve got a blessing in that they can arrange the order however they want. If Girardi wants a somewhat set lineup, though, this might be his best bet to achieve that.

Categories : Analysis
  • jsbrendog

    blinded by the upside

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    Who is this Cabretta you speak of? Does he perhaps have a bat to go along with his above-average defense and cannon arm? Wishful thinking?

  • steve (different one)

    Nady should play more than the short half of a DH platoon.

    • anonymous

      Why? Swisher is better.

      Boost up Nady with a few AB’s and mid season his ass.

      • steve (different one)

        Swisher may or may not be better than Nady in 2009.

        it’s far from a given.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          All the evidence we have, be it statistical, empirical, or anecdotal, says Swisher IS the better player and will continue to be for 2009.

          No, it’s not a given. Waking up each morning and not being crushed by a piano shoved out of a 4th story windo on your way to work isn’t a “given” either, but the probability says you’ll likely make it.

          The probabilities says Swisher will be better than Nady.

          • steve (different one)

            some projection systems disagree with you.

            i’m not just saying this to say it.

            i understand ALL of the arguments about his BABIP, his LB%, his isoD, isoP, etc.

            but there are also scouting reports that say his bat speed slowed down last year.

            there is also mounting evidence that Nady has “learned” to hit RHP and closed his platoon split.

            it’s far from the slam dunk everyone seems to think it is that Swisher will outhit Nady next year.

            • steve (different one)

              System – Swisher(OPS) – Nady(OPS)

              Bill James – .810 – .810
              CHONE – .814 – .783
              Marcel – .790 – .808
              Oliver – .775 – .801

              so no, i don’t think it’s accurate at all to say “All the evidence we have, be it statistical, empirical, or anecdotal, says Swisher IS the better player and will continue to be for 2009.”

              if i had to bet? i’d bet on Swisher. but my point was simply that all of of the available data does NOT make this a foregone conclusion.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Nady’s 2009 wOBA projections:
              Bill James – .353
              CHONE – .342
              Marcel – .348
              Oliver – .346

              Swisher’s 2009 wOBA projections:
              Bill James – .358
              CHONE – .360
              Marcel – .344
              Oliver – .340

              Fair enough, it’s not a slam-dunk, it’s basically a tossup. I suppose I value Swisher’s ability to OBP in the .370-.380 range more than I value Nady’s ability to slug lefty pitching.

              Here’s my ace in the hole (quoting myself):

              Swisher is a switch hitter, Nady is not. Swisher is part of the future of this team, Nady is not. Swisher is a plus defender, Nady is not.

              If you assume that their offensive production will be a total wash, you have to give the tiebreaking edges to Swisher for the other ways in which he’s superior to Nady. (Left out from my earlier comment is that Swish is also two full years younger than Nady, and thus, possibly has more improvement potential.)

              • steve (different one)

                fair enough.

                like i said, i’d bet on Swisher.

                but there are a lot of people (here and elsewhere) acting like Girardi is somehow wrong to not simply hand Swisher the job from day 1.

                we can’t pretend that 2008 never happened for both players.

                both are likely to regress (Swish up/Nady down) in 2009, but there *IS* a chance that 2008 is part of a new level of performance for both players.

                and Girardi, IMO, is right to at least make Swisher show that he is better than he was last year before giving him the job.

                that doesn’t he won’t, i think he will. but for now, the lineup will probably be split more between the two guys until one of them starts to pull away.

                • Mike Pop

                  Very well said.

  • andrew

    I like everything besides Posada being 8th, I think i might move him to 6th and slide Swisher and Cano, but it is what it is, get me to opening day and I won’t really care who’s hitting where.

  • MattG

    Significant: I am glad to see Swisher there everyday, with Nady and Matsui platooning. I wholeheartedly agree.

    Nitpick: Posada is wasted at #8. I would like to see him ahead of Cano for sure. Posada grinds an at bat, and I want him to wear out a pitcher before Cano flails at the first slider he sees.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      FWIW, my lineups were proposed accounting for the likelihood of Posada not being 100% healthy or needing to be agressively subbed for Molina, or in general the catcher spot not being as productive as we’d hoped. I’d like to ease Jorge back into dominance by not asking him to do too much too soon. If he’s mashing come July, move him up by all means.

  • dan l

    Those lineups are terrible! Do you really want crappy Melky followed by Damon against a lefty?

    Do you really want Damon leading off when he is not very good at it compared to Jeter? Damon for his career is not that good the first time he sees the starting pitcher in a game compared to Jeter. The numbers are startling. Do you want more of Jeter hitting into double plays batting second? 45 the last 2 seasons is more then enough for me to realize a change is needed.

    Right handed starting pitcher
    Jeter
    Damon
    Teixeira
    Arod
    Cano
    Posada
    Matsui
    Swisher
    Gardner

    Left handed starting pitcher
    Jeter
    Swisher
    Teixeira
    Arod
    Cano
    Posada
    Matsui
    Nady
    Gardner

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      I tried to maintain a semblance of realism in the projections. There is zero chance Jeter bats leadoff over Damon. Zero.

      • andrew

        At most.

      • dan l

        Go look at the numbers before you say that for sure. Jeter is slowing down and either needs to move down or up in the lineup!

        Plus Damon’s solid year last season was based on an outlier babip against right handed pitching. He is just not that good.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          You can cite all the numbers you want. It won’t change what Joe Girardi writes on his lineup sheet.

          • dan l

            You don’t know that for sure do you? The best way to play 3 corner outfielders is to platoon the 2 hole and 8 hole. I can’t see Girardi changing his lead off hitter to platoon Damon.

            • andrew

              the best way to play 3 corner outfielders is to platoon the 2 hole and 8 hole.

              says who?

              I can’t see Girardi changing his lead off hitter to platoon Damon.
              thats fine, because hes not platooning Damon

              • dan l

                So are that delusional to believe Damon can match last season’s production?

                He was a .258 hitter against left handed pitching? His babip against right handed pitching was .336 or .033 points better then his career numbers. Damon is just not that good.

                Give Damon more rest and let him be part of a 3 member corner outfield platoon should be the goal.

                Damon, Nady and Swisher all need to play so the goal should be to get all of them 500 pa and not play them full time. Take advantage of the splits when then can be in your favor.

                • andrew

                  You didn’t answer why platooning the 2 and 8 hole are the best way to handle a platoon. There’s really no evidence to support that…
                  Normally, without injuries a guy will get about 600-650 plate appearances, so with two spots in the lineup open, there would be no way to get each one 500 at bats

        • steve (different one)

          Plus Damon’s solid year last season was based on an outlier babip against right handed pitching. He is just not that good.

          this is a BAD use of statistics, IMO.

          nothing Damon did last year was out of line with what he has been doing for the last 10-12 seasons.

          he has a well established track record and his 2008 performance fell into the high end of that track record.

          he’ll probably regress back to his average performance in 2009, but that is not the same as calling his 2008 an “outlier”. it wasn’t.

          • dan l

            So when you make excuses for Swisher because he had a low babip by saying he is better then that. Why can’t I say Damon is worse then he showed last year?

            • steve (different one)

              Why can’t I say Damon is worse then he showed last year?

              because he has had several seasons in the past where he has performed as well as he did in 2008?

              you are confusing “had a good season” with “had a fluke season”.

        • GG

          so your saying damon should be a 13mil platoon player? goes well with the 13mil surgery waiting to happen at DH and the 13 mil quesionmark at catcher we all have our fingers crossed for. I dont agree though, I think he can still be a good leadoff hitter for us this year and possibly beyond as nobody will likely be ready to take on that roll fulltime immediately. The Jeter question is a much bigger one, hes going to have to be willing to take a massive paycut down the road…I could easily see cash trying to convince hank and hal to hold their ground in that negotiation when it happens. If we win rings and Jeter has a good year in 2010 it can go either way really.

          • dan l

            This is Damon’s last year so I don’t care! If you add up all the pa from lf, rf and dh plus maybe 15 games in cf you get about 2100 pa total? Would in not be in the best interest of the team to have Damon, Swisher, Nady and Matsui all getting around 525 pa to both stay fresh and take advantage of lefty/righty splits?

            • GG

              I’m going to say no if it doesnt result in more total runs being scored (and ultimately more games won). My belief that it wouldnt is predicated mainly on two things.
              1. As the RAB guys have detailed, the idea that 1-4 and maybe 1-5 should be pretty well defined barring injuries. and
              2. Damon sets the tone for the game that I think we want and shouldnt take for-granted just because were accustomed to having so many good hitters on the team. I dont think Nady who is quite impatient at the plate, or Matsui have any leadoff capabilities, but perhaps Swisher does if he can get on base at a higher clip like he used to. If hes doing well however, I would think his power would be basically wasted their.

              So…I like Damon and wouldnt writeoff him having a role in 2010 on a smaller shorter contract, perhaps a 1yr deal opening the door for crawford in left after 2010?

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        I actually did an article on this yesterday. I agree, it will never happen, but the numbers suggest that it might be prudent. Damon makes more contact and has marginally more power at this point.

    • MattG

      I don’t know–there can be good cause for benching Damon vs LHP in favor of Matsui. Damon’s battled leg injuries admirably for a couple of years now–I could see it go south for him this year.

      Could Matsui be the healthier of the two this year? It could happen.

      • dan l

        Damon hit .258 against lefties last year. He’s had an ops of .705 and .710 the last 2 against lefties as well.

  • UWS

    Who is Cabretta and when did we trade for him? Is he any good?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The portmanteau “Gardbrera” >>>>>>>>> The portmanteau “Cabretta”

      The intrinsic comedic nature of a hodgepodge jumble of consonants FTW!

  • Don

    As said above, switch Posada and Swish and I am very happy with those lineups. I think on the days Nady and Swish are in the lineup, Damon will DH to give his legs a rest.

    Play Gardner vs. Righties and Melky (uggh) vs. Lefties and away you go. I wonder if there is anyway we could deal for Cody Ross? He mashes lefties and plays a solid CF.

  • GG

    I like ridiculous upside’s lineups a lot even if he loves pecota. My only qualm would be BrettyG in CF. If Brett can get on at #9, his legs would be such a huge asset to the top of the order but we all know that one as well as RF will come down to who is hitting. Which contrary to Upside’s lineups, I thought LoHud or someone had Girardi saying the X-man has the job to lose. IMHO Swisher > Nady

  • Rich

    I still think that A-Rod should bat 3rd and Tex 4th.

    I would be very surprised if Matsui is platooned if he is healthy.

    If Nady doesn’t start (and he shouldn’t), I think he could become a problem given that he is playing for a contract.

  • Don

    I wonder if Girardi gives Swish a few starts in CF vs. some of the tougher righties in the league to have the best possible offensive lineup in the game – say Halladay, Guthrie, Matsuzaka, Beckett, Shields, Garza, Santana, Lackey, Baker and Grienke. That should give him about 25 starts in CF, with Damon in LF and Nady in RF.

    • Don

      You could then go:

      1) Damon
      2) Jeter
      3) Teix
      4) A-Rod
      5) Matsui
      6) Posada
      7) Cano
      8) Swish
      9) Nady

      • MattG

        Cano has to hit ninth in that lineup.

        • Mike Pop

          Not when Cano hits 340 the whole season!! He will be in the 5 hole soon enough. Haha.

          • MattG

            He might bowl 340 before he hits 340 again.

            I am not a fan (can you tell?)

            • jsbrendog

              if he can bowl 340 somehow, thne he is in the wrong profession

              • Mike Pop

                You should learn to be a fan. He’s a big piece of the team for the future.

                Lol @ 340.

      • Don

        I thought that, but Im thinking they avoid back to back lefties if they can. Perhaps you slide him to 8th and move Swish up to 7th.

        That becomes a nightmare for opposing pitchers with those first 7 batters working the count.

    • Mike Pop

      I think you would see more of Damon in CF than Swish.

      • Don

        I cant see Joe revisiting that again this year. I think he goes Swish based on having fresher legs at this point.

        • Mike Pop

          I think you will see Damon in CF opening day.

      • anonymous

        I think you’re correct.

        And besides we can meet fire with fire now. We dont have to blow everyone away by scoring 20 runs a game. We can live with Brett Cabrera in CF.

    • GG

      Guthrie?

      • Don

        Yes Guthrie. Dont sleep on him. He has a sub 3.70 the past 2 years in the AL East, pitching in Camden. That is not an easy feat.

        • Mike Pop

          Ya, such a good pick up off waivers.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Swish wins the starting role over Nady? I don’t think so.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Because…

      • Don

        If Torre were still managing Id give no chance to Swish winning the job over Nady, but with Girardi here its a different story.

        • MattG

          If Torre were managing, Miguel Cairo might be in RF.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            If Torre were managing, we would have signed KRod to be a bridge to Mariano.

            • MattG

              And Fuentes to pitch to Ortiz 19 times.

        • anonymous

          Painful reminder, thanks.

  • Rob in CT

    I’d consider benching Damon against LHP (give him rest, keep him fresh, and he doesn’t hit LHP very well), or maybe playing him in CF against LHP, with Swisher & Nady flanking him (Matsui DHing). If one of Damon, Swisher, Nady or Matsui must sit against LHP, I’d say Damon.

    Molina should play against LHP, because he can sorta hit that. He cannot hit RHP. At all. And Jorge needs rest anyway, so why not then?

    • dan l

      Exactly take advantage of splits! To do this easier is to move Jeter up and Damon down.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        A) Flipping Jeter and Damon in the batting order doesn’t take advantage of any “splits”.

        B) If you want to platoon Damon, you can platoon him in the leadoff hole. There’s no rule saying you can’t have a leadoff platoon but you’re allowed to have a platoon in the two-hole.

        C) Jeter batting leadoff and Damon hitting second ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. It’s a pipe dream, give it up. Neither player wants to do it, the team doesn’t get a difference of any sizeable significance from doing it, it’s pointless. I could see this being an issue if the choice was batting Jeter 2nd or 7th. Between 2nd and 1st, it’s a non-issue. (Just like ARod and Tex between 3rd and 4th.)

        Give it a rest.

        • dan l

          Yes it is ha ha. I am lol because no one is even willing to look at the numbers and at least say give my idea a real look see.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Here’s why we’re not willing to look at the numbers:

            The difference between #1 and #2 in the batting order is miniscule. The difference between #3 and #4 in the batting order is miniscule. But the first four spots in the batting order get more plate appearances than the last 5, and your two best OBP men should be at #1 and #2 and your two best hitters should be at #3 and #4, but beyond that, it doesn’t really matter.

            The facts that:
            1) Damon likes hitting #1 and fancies himself a leadoff hitter
            2) Jeter likes hitting #2 and styles himself as a #2 hitter
            3) Tex likes hitting #3 and sees himself as a 3-hole hitter
            4) ARod likes hitting #4 and views himself as a cleanup man
            5) a Damon-Jeter-Tex-ARod order nicely toggles lefties, righties, and switch-hitters to keep the lineup from being too heavy one way or the other

            are all the facts necessary to say that the lineup should definitely be Damon-Jeter-Tex-ARod.

            • dan l

              Did you just pick up the phone and call them to find out for sure who fancies what? My god your arrogance is unbelievable! The bottom line is both players want to win and if batting Jeter first and Damon second plus part of a platoon will help they will do it for the betterment of the team. If not then bench them!

              As for your fact you full of CRAP! Why because the numbers show something different!

              • Colombo

                That’s really not the way to respond to someone if you don’t want to get banned/deleted. Especially not tsjc. Everybody knows that.

                While your arguement does hold some water, you are not taking everything into account. What if, back in 1996, ARod batted leadoff for 4 games, and put up a ridonkulous 1.125 OPS. Should he be our leadoff hitter because of that? Its a matter of comfort zone. Damon is a leadoff hitter, and his highest value to the team is as a leadoff hitter. Derek Jeter has been called the best number two hitter in all of baseball. This is where these guys are used to hitting and where they are most valuable to the team. And seriously, would you really bench Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter for not wanting to switch spots in the batting order? You’d be fired before you were able to hand in your lineup card.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  That’s really not the way to respond to someone if you don’t want to get banned/deleted. Especially not tsjc. Everybody knows that.

                  I laughed at that.

                  Seriously, though, Dan, you’re getting mad at me for pointing out facts that are obvious to everyone. It’s not a national secret that Jeter likes hitting in the #2 hole and prefers not to hit leadoff. This is a well settled, well established fact. He’s said this on numerous occasions. All of this stuff is stuff that’s in the public record. I’m not attacking you for your idea that we juggle around the top four spots in the batting order, I’m just pointing out to you why it isn’t a super great idea. One of the reasons it’s not a great idea is that they players in question don’t want to do it, so if they don’t, we need to have a compelling reason to pull them out of their comfort zones, and I just don’t really see one.

            • jsbrendog

              My god your arrogance is unbelievable

              do they make that in a size 11 1/2?

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I have ridiculous arrogance.

                • jsbrendog

                  haha well played

        • dan l

          Are you not being just a tad arrogant!

          “Neither player wants to do it”

          Do you know them personally to make that statement?

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            “Neither player wants to do it” Do you know them personally to make that statement?

            I don’t know Mitch McConnell personally, but I know, from what he’s said on numerous occasions, that he doesn’t like the recently passed economic stimulus bill.

            I don’t have to know Jeter and Damon personally to know that Jeter likes batting second and Damon likes leading off. They’ve indicated as much on numerous occasions. It’s public knowledge.

            • dan l

              More garbage from Tommy knows best! You are an arrogant idiot! Instead of looking up at the numbers you make up stuff. Jeter is on record saying he does not care where he hits in a lineup just that he wants to play everyday.

              • pat

                What numbers suggest that Jeter wants to bat leadoff?

              • steve (different one)

                More garbage from Tommy knows best! You are an arrogant idiot!

                WTF is your problem?

        • MattG

          Jeter is such an extreme ground ball hitter now, that I think this is kind of more significant than we think. Cabretta’s not going to be on base all that much–Damon will be. I would rather have Jeter hitting behind Cabretta.

          But alas, it will not happen. Perhaps in the ideal lineup, Damon might even bat ninth, with a pitch hound like Swisher hitting 2nd. Plug that in a simulation and smoke it!

        • NickyTheSwish

          How is ARod and Tex between 3rd and 4th a non-issue? They have similar on-base and slugging numbers, ARod has speed and Tex doesn’t, and I think it would be advantageous to give ARod some protection in the lineup. It’s a good problem to have, but it doesn’t make sense to say that the difference would be negligible and doesn’t even deserve to be examined.

          Also, batting Posada 8th, assuming he can get back to about 280/380/480, just for the sake of consistency in the lineup when replacing him with Molina makes little sense in my opinion.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Meh, yeah, I suppose you could say that lineup protection is a valid reason to haggle over the 3 and 4 holes in the lineup. But lineup protection itself is a bit of an exaggerated concept. I’d still give the tiebreaker to player preference over lineup protection, personally. Baseball is such a psychological contest, I’d like to put players in roles they find comfortable. Tex says he likes 3, ARod says he likes 4, and putting them there allows me to keep a switch hitter in between my two righty bats, that’s good enough for me.

            I’m fine with moving Posada up in the lineup. Me putting him 8th was to ease him into the season slowly. When he demonstrates that he can still hit pain-free, he moves up.

            • NickyTheSwish

              Fair enough. Lineup protection and player preference are both somewhat qualitative so I think it’s hard to say which should take precedence. Personally, I think the emphasis on staggering lefty-righty batters throughout the lineup is a bit overrated, especially for guys like Jeter and ARod whose splits are pretty consistent and especially when you consider that if Gardner is batting 9th you would have lefty-lefty with him and Damon anyway. ARod’s speed is also a factor that I think should at least be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, while your point is valid, I guess I would just take issue with your relegating this to a “non-issue” based on only one of many relevant factors.

    • MattG

      If CMW is pitching, there is little reason not to go with Damon or Swisher in CF.

      If Posada will only catch 110 games, then thats 52 starts vs LHP for Molina.

      What’s next?

      • Don

        Sabathia, Pettitte, and Burnett arent exactly fly ball pitchers either.

        • MattG

          Suprisingly, Sabathia is. 55% of balls in play (or hit over the fence) were line drives or fly balls (in his career).

          Burnett, Pettitte, and Chamberlain are all pretty neutral.

          Wang is much better. Only 40% of balls in play get into the air.

          The gap will close when you add in strikeouts, but there is a large edge for Wang.

          Upshot: outfield defense may not be all that important if the Yankees’ starters stay healthy.

          • Don

            Sabathia has the lesser GB tendency of the 4, but hes slightly above average I believe. Burnett and Pettitte have both had gb/fb ratios towards the top of the league in recent years.

      • Rob in CT

        Health permitting, I’d rather see Damon in CF than Swisher. His arm is awful, but I think he still has the range. Swisher, if UZR is to be believed (and I think it is), does not. Range is more important than arm.

        I’m sure Molina will have to start some games against RHP, unfortunately. I just hope they minimize it.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Johnny Damon hasn’t posted a positive UZR in CF since 2002, his first year in Boston. From 2003-2008 he was a total of 45.2 runs below average in the middle.

          If we have to choose one of the corner OF’s to slide into center, it should definitely be Swisher and NOT Damon. He’s a trainwreck in CF.

          • Rob in CT

            Wow. I’d seen Swisher’s UZR numebrs, but somehow failed to bother to look up Damon’s. He’s been that bad, uh? Damn.

            I Stand corrected.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      These are good points.

  • IBarrackObamaSuckBigHairyNastyBalls

    who’s cabretta? besides cabretta the lineups look good i like swisher in right……i thought gardner was going to start

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Um… nice… name?

    • Mac

      Wow. That is one intense name.

    • Mike Pop

      Cool name, dude….

    • IBarrackObamaOnlySpeakNeverDoAnythingJustTalkAboutDoingStuffHaveNoIdeaHowToActuallyFixAnythingButReallySpeakWell

      Cool Name dude.

      • Mike Pop

        Tough guy.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        This is going to end badly.

        • jsbrendog

          it hasnt gone badly already?

          this thread is a train wreck

          • Mike Pop
            • steve (different one)

              Mike/Ben/Joe, can we get rid of this asshole?

              it doesn’t matter to me what your stand on Obama is, but i don’t think this is the right place for politics.

              if you are going to be an asshole, at least do it while talking about baseball. like i do.

              • steve (different one)

                ps. obviously i am not talking about Mike Pop even though that is the post i replied to.

                • pat

                  Mike Pop is a menace and I demand he be disciplined.

                • jsbrendog

                  yeah that mike pop is so arrogant!!

                  oph, we’re nto tlaking about him??

                  yeah mike pop!

                  when in rome

                • Mike Pop

                  Haha.

                  I was like damn, I know me and steve have had our differences but damn.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Man, that escalated quickly! I mean, it really got out of hand fast!

    • Tom Zig

      Mr. President, Cabretta is the latest combination of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Oh and when you throw out the first pitch for the Nats or the White Sox this year, do it from the mound, not in front. At least your predecessor could throw strikes from the mound.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        (fighting the urge to say something)

        • pat

          Are we in bizarro world?

          • Tom Zig

            I’m actually kind of surprised this mini-conversation is still up here. But anyways back to baseball. Who wins the job? Gardner or Cabrera?

            • Mike Pop

              They both do!

    • pat

      go fuck yourself?
      Yeah, go fuck yourself.

      • GG

        When someone says something on a blog you dont agree with, stupid or not, you dont have a need to personally attack them. Especially by talking like that on a blog probablly read by many children.

        • jsbrendog

          come onnnnnnn, kids love to curse! its like lol to them omg

        • pat

          My apologies GG. This whole thread will be blown up anyway. The childen will be spared my foul language.

          • GG

            Its not just about kids, you shouldnt address someone like that, none of us should. I’m not personally offended or anything, but it doesnt make you look like a very classy guy, which im sure you are.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Keep in mind that you’re talking to the guy who said that he roofies himself and tries to masturbate to completion before he passes out.

              • jsbrendog

                hahahahaha i forgot about that. damn. never let pat buy you a beer at the ballpark

    • rbizzler

      If you are going to lampoon the guy at least spell his name correctly…

      Not surprising that you couldn’t figure out ‘Cabretta’ though.

      • Tom Zig

        I’m guessing its the same person, considering they both made the same spelling mistake.

  • Macphisto

    Matsui actually hit lefties better than righties last year for average (not power), I think he should everyday DH unless they want to give him a rest. Let Nady and Swish platoon in RF and have Nady bat 5th against lefties, Matsui 5th against righties.

  • Peter Lacock

    Whatever Damon is, Jeter is no leadoff hitter. He’s a hacker. The only reason he sees any pitches is because he occasionally has a 10+ pitch AB. 1/2 the time he’s first pitch fastball and he’s a GIDP machine. Always has been. Damon is prototypical.

    • MattG

      Yeah, accept Jeter’s career OBP is .387, and Damon’s is .354, so, no, that’s not relevant. Now, if you were to say Jeter has such a high OBP because Damon’s lets him see all the pitcher’s pitches…no, Jeter’s splits the past three years leading off an inning is a .405 OBP.

      • MattG

        Hey, I just learned something. Jeter draws significantly less walks with the bases empty than with runners on base. Over three seasons, a significant sample. And the difference is significant, too.

        http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....e=batting3

        • Mike Pop

          Hmmm, interesting. I would of thought it was the opposite, would think he is trying to get the runner in.

      • Mike Pop

        accept, except.

    • steve (different one)

      OBP in the leadoff spot:

      Jeter – .389
      Damon – .355

      • steve (different one)

        too slow.

        • MattG

          Atleast you spelled everything good.

    • dan l

      Really? Dude before you open your stupid mouth go look at the numbers Jeter put up hitting leadoff in 05!

      • pat

        Learn to debate without insulting people and you might get taken seriously.

        • andrew

          I think it’s too late for that…

        • dan l

          Why should I or anyone when be nice here? The arrogance of some preclude being pleasant.

          Before commenting negatively about another persons idea they should at the very least go and look up the numbers that are mentioned first before commenting!

          This does not happen here ever!

          So today I have a little free time and after a bit of sad responses I decided to help make a mockery of this thread.
          But that withstanding my idea has merit and when I have time will continue to promote it.

          As for me the first I said here today is idiot and I didn’t curse like you did!

          • Mike Pop

            Why should you be nice?

            Umm, maybe because this is a place for intelligent debate and well…attacking people is really just not the right thing to do. Tommie proved you wrong without bashing you at all, he just attacked your ideas and he was right. Get over it, he is right and you are wrong. It is obvious Damon likes the lead off spot or he would ask to be moved out of it. He should stay there because he is one of the better lead off hitters in the game, whether you like it or not.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I also find it gleefully ironic that he’s taking issue with me for not “looking up the numbers” when I’m the most number-lookin-uppinest-muhfu#$ka in here.

              You know it’s true. It really is Bizarro world in this thread. I just got accused of not being willing to look at the statistical analysis supporting an argument.

              • jsbrendog

                NERDS! go hug your sp……wow…it is bizarro in here..that doesnt apply……..

          • steve (different one)

            everyone here is familiar with these numbers.

            the problem is that you seem to think you are reinventing the wheel here.

            everyone here knows that Jeter has good numbers from the leadoff spot.

            • Mike Pop

              dan l is a man who invented the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That’s the kind of man he is. We are just women with small brains, brains a third the size of dan l’s. It’s science.

              • dan l

                I changed my mind and decided to curse! Go stick your fucking head up your ASS!

                • Mike Pop

                  Awesome.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  [ facepalm ]

                • jsbrendog

                  its nice to dust it off and take it for a spin every once in awhile

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                • Mike Pop

                  Haven’t seen that beauty in a while.

      • steve (different one)

        calm down

      • jsbrendog

        Tommie’s mouth IQ is obviously many points lower than the rest of his head iq

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I DON’T KNOW WHY WE’RE YELLING!!!

          • Cor Shep

            I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!! *?

      • Colombo

        Take it, easy Champ. Why don’t you stop talking for a while?

        • Colombo

          DAMN MY IMPROPER PUNCTUATION

        • jsbrendog

          maybe sit the next one out

      • Colombo

        And really? Your entire argument is based around stats from ’05? If thats the case, we should sign Barry Bonds to DH for us. Go look at the numbers he put up in 05!!11!!1!

  • AndrewYF

    If Posada is truly back to form, put him fifth. After A-Rod and maybe Teixeira, he has the highest OBP ability on the team. You want those guys getting as many AB as possible, without messing up the ‘fast guys first’ lineup construction. Then you can put Matsui, etc. I don’t know what to do about very high-strikeout guys. I would imagine you want guys who make a lot of contact to go after guys who get on base. If Cano is back to his ability, maybe he should hit sixth, with Matsui seventh, and Swisher/Nady eighth.

    • andrew

      I like Matsui more than Posada in the 5 hole, but then again, it all comes down to who’s putting up the numbers

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    I just don’t like batting Posada that low. A guy with his power and on base skills is almost wasted at the bottom of the order. I understand the problem of slotting Molina in but most guys in the order can be moved around relatively easily to accommodate for that.

    I’d do:

    RH:
    Damon
    Jeter
    Rodriguez
    Tex
    Matsui
    Posada
    Swish
    Cano
    Gardbrera

    LH:
    Damon
    Jeter
    Rodiguez
    Tex
    Nady
    Posada
    Swish
    Cano
    Gardbrera

    • AndrewYF

      I still don’t understand why Nady would bat so high in the order. Do you mean to tell me that you think Nady is a better hitter against LHP than Posada?

      Nady should bat 8th.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        I could easily switch Nady and Posada in that lineup. Either way, I’m fine.

        FWIW, they have the same OBP (.383) vs. lefties for their careers, Posada just hits for a little more power.

        • Mike Pop

          I want to see Posada come back healthy before they move him up in the lineup. So I’m with you and TSJC on putting him in the 8th hole for now.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            I have Posada 6th, not 8th.

            • Mike Pop

              Wow, I’m embarrased.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                Counting: not one of Mike Pop’s strong points.

                • Mike Pop

                  Well ya know, I only have 7 fingers.

                • Mike Pop

                  Ya, so ah who’s the funny guy now Matt?

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  You, because physical deformities are funny.

                • Mike Pop

                  Ietc.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I still don’t understand why Nady would bat so high in the order. Do you mean to tell me that you think Nady is a better hitter against LHP than Posada?

        Jorge Posada vs. lefties: .299/.383/.498
        Xavier Nady vs. lefties: .308/.383/.470

        And that’s career numbers. In ’06 (Jorge’s last “normal” year), he hit .263/.348/.380 against southpaws. Jorge may not be able to hit that well anymore; Nady may still be improving.

        Yeah, there’s a good chance Nady may really be a better hitter against LHP than Posada.

  • http://nyyankeesrumors.com/ Bob Ruffolo

    I agree, there is not enough playing time there for Nady.

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    Oh, I get it now. Cabretta is some clever hybrid of Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Silly me.

  • Rob in CT

    In the abstract, I’d like to bat Jeter leadoff and have Damon either 2nd or way down in the lineup. In the real world, however, I gave up on that back in 2005.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I would love for Girardi to flip them, but I know it’s not going to happen.

    • jsbrendog

      ietc

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Rob, you arrogant idiot.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Tommie, you ignorant slut.

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  • Bill

    When Wang is on the mound there is no reason not to go with an OF of Nady, Damon, Swisher (from LF to RF) with Matsui at DH unless of course Gardner is actually doing well at the plate.

    Forget this set lineup stuff. With a deep bench we should be mixing and matching to give guys rest and put the best lineup out there each day.