Pregame News: A new number three hitter

A meaning for these meaningless games
MLB announces ALDS Game One start time
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It’s tough to consider a .244/.339/.482 batting line a poor season for most players, but when you’re Mark Teixeira and a .286/.377/.536 career hitter coming into the season, it is a disappointment. Tex’s struggles against right-handed pitchers this year (.221/.324/.450) are well known, and that’s why he’s hitting fifth tonight. Robinson Cano, who has no trouble hitting anyone, will bat third.

“It’s a great idea,” said Tex. “I told [Joe Girardi] I was all for it.” Although no one came out and admitted it, the change is likely permanent throughout the playoffs, at least against righty pitching. Tex can still mash lefties (.297/.377/.557), there’s no issue there. The first baseman acknowledged that the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium is “appetizing,” and he’s planning to work with hitting coach Kevin Long this offseason to iron out his left-handed swing.

This move isn’t just about Tex though, it’s also about maximizing opportunities. Cano has been intentionally walked ten times this year and five times in his last seven games, and although Nick Swisher is a quality hitter, he’s certainly not a guy that strikes the fear of God into a pitcher. When the choice is pitching to Cano or pitching to Swisher, you pitch to Nick every time. I doubt the other team will stop walking Cano now that he’s hitting third (how many batters have we seen get walked ahead of Alex Rodriguez over the years?), but at least now A-Rod and Tex and Swisher are all behind Robbie to  pick up the slack.

A meaning for these meaningless games
MLB announces ALDS Game One start time
  • Mister Delaware

    Mister Delaware likes this.

  • The Big City of Dreams

    No Montero

    • Monteroisdinero

      He is the #3 hitter of the future and with Girardi managing that will be sometime in 2016.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Lol yea Joe usually waits a while to make a move.

  • DannyC

    good move by girardi. I have been very disappointed with tex this year. I know his power numbers have been good but a typical tex night would be 1-5 with a solo hr in a blowout game. Him and Swisher better pick it up in the playoffs

  • pat

    Thanks for waiting an entire season of sucking to decide to work on your swing.

  • Tiny Tim

    Your best hitters should hit in the top 3 so Cano should have been there all year. I might even drop Teix below Swish. Our first baseman should have an OPS higher than .821 , Teixera has been one of the biggest dissapointments this season even more so than AJ who we all know is trash.

    • vocabularry

      If you want your first baseman to have a specific minimum OPS —then what should your corner outfielders have–specifically the gritty, gutsy one in left?
      And don’t bring up the defensive superior horseshit because your first baseman has that also.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Nothing like a HR in your first ab in the first inning to solidify the #3 spot. Robbie was also our best hitter in the ALCS against Texas last year.

    He deserves it.

  • mko

    I said before the season that he should hit third. Let’s hope he is the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter for the rest of his HoF career.

  • Finster

    Had to happen sometime…Cano has been the best hitter on the team for a couple of years now. Glad it happend for the playoffs rather than after

  • Nick

    Also, Grandy will see a lot more pitches to hit now, who would want to walk him in front of Cano.

  • mike

    problem is that Mr Cano doesnt get on base at a great clip either…and with Jeter bound to regress and Granderson not a big OBP guy, i wonder how this would work out in the future.

    Personally, i’d put Swisher 2nd and Cano/Arod/Grandy/Tex/Montero behind them next year, especially if we think Granderson will regress in the power department

  • Monteroisdinero

    If this keeps up, Montero may play against righties next year! What I would like to see everyday….


    • The Big City of Dreams

      I can’t wait to see Jesus bat behind Cano but we all know that move won’t happen next season. We’ll have to wait a couple of yrs until then but we can still dream lol.

    • Finster

      LOL, I would like a larger sample size of Montero before hitting him 4th. Let him start off hitting 7th and work his way up the order. Also, I have faith in a rebound season from Tex. Not sure I have much faith in A-Rod going forward, only so many lower extremity issues you can have before you become a shell of the player you were. I’m afraid we may be seeing that happen to A-Rod.

      • Xstar7

        MAY be seeing that happen to A-Rod? He’s 36 going on 37. He’s definitely in decline and his injuries are exacerbating that.

  • Mickey Mantle’s Outstanding Experience

    I’m more excited that people will stop whining about this and posting their lineup that no one asked about than the actual move.

  • DZ

    Grandy – not a knock on him, but tex will get more fastballs too.

    • Jerome S

      Granderson’s the best hitter, bat him second.

  • thenamestsam

    Not a huge fan of this move. I’ve seen it written that your third hitter bats the most out of anyone on the team with 2 outs and no one on(stands to reason), and while Tex has been incredibly disappointing this year, his all power approach I think was well suited to that place in the lineup. Cano is going to hit a lot more singles, doubles, and triples at the expense of a some walks and homeruns, but a lot of those are going to come with no one on and be stranded. Cano is obviously the better hitter and the extra abs may make it worth it, but I’m not sure it’s a slam dunk.

  • duzzi23

    Finally Girardi makes a smart move with the lineup in moving Cano up. Granderson and Cano are 1-2 in the league in the rbis they should be back to back. The thing I don’t understand is why wait until game 161 to do this??

  • David, Jr.

    Lots of great points made here. My takes:

    Cano change – Excellent. Hope it is done all the way through the World Series win this year, and beyond that.

    Montero in order – Everybody is excited, and for good reason. They have handled him perfectly so far, being patient, and throwing him into cleanup would run counter to that. It would not be smart, as young as he is. He will hit cleanup for the Yankees in two or three years. If it should be sooner It will become obvious, but there is no need to force that.

    ARod decline – I wouldn’t write him off yet. I have had a torn meniscus experience, and it is extremely minor.

    Lack of whining – Great! Hopefully it will last at least until Girardi bunts in a losing playoff game.

  • Guns of the Navarone

    I’m very pleased with the tough decisions this team has made throughout the year. They seem very determined to get the maximum value out of this team and I’m all for it.

    They took a legend and an icon out of the leadoff spot against RHP. The numbers had been backing that move for a long time. I don’t care if it was only when A-Rod was out of the lineup… they still recognized it and made the move. They recognized Jorge’s lack of production early on and made him essentially a part-time player, but they still know full well his value against RHP and he’ll rightfully make the postseason roster because of that. And now Teixeira bats fifth. I give Girardi a hard time, but kudos to him and Cashman.

  • Jesus Freak

    Why is Russell Martin starting 4 days in a row?

    • Monteroisdinero

      Because. Montero. cannot. catch.


      • Ro

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman pulled Girardi aside sometime last week and said give this kid as many at bats as you like, but not to use him behind the plate unless an emergency. Not meaning that Montero can’t catch, because he clearly can, just with varying opinions. I think the Montero thing is all about value and its pretty tough to argue that his value (in prospect terms) is at an all time high. This being said; this has more to do with Cashman’s potential off season plans. I want this guy to stay in the line up for years to come, but what’s been showcased this past month with be a HUGE chip for Cash to work with this winter when hunting for a strong arm via trade.

    • Ro

      Yeah, not a fan of this move for tonight. A solid three days off would be great for him. Nonetheless, he’s off tomorrow night and will receive two full days of rest.

  • well you know

    The move is an acknowledgment that there is a problem with the team’s offense against RHP. The problem is in the pieces and moving the pieces around is rarely a fix. Tex, Swish and Jete have all developed huge platoon splits with RHP as the weakness; Alex isn’t close to what he used to be. That leaves a lot of slack not reliably picked up by the Gardner/Martin/Posada bottom trio. Cano and Grandy can’t do everything.

    Cross the fingers for the O if Yanks face Verlander/Fister in Games 1-2. All the more so because Cano’s career numbers againt Verlander are flat out horrible.

  • Dela G

    great play colon!

  • Cuso

    The thing that pisses me off is that they waited until Game 161 to do this.

    This was an overdue move, but the timing is kind of ridiculous. NOW, you do this?